Healing the world: Nepal

By Selena Ross

WASHINGTON — Here’s a fact-based snapshot of Nepal’s health challenges and the aims of the U.S. government’s Global Health Initiative:


Total GHI spending:
FY 2009: $22 million
FY 2010: $25 million

Total population: 29 million
GDP per capita: $438

Births that are assisted by a skilled attendant: 19 percent
Population using an effective water treatment method: 15 percent

Major health concerns in the country:
1) Child, newborn and maternal mortality are all very high
2) Infectious diseases are a problem, including many spread through water, food and vectors, as well as HIV, which is on the rise

GHI’s main goals: Helping Nepal to build management and research capacity; encourage partnerships between nonprofit, private and public health care systems to overcome staffing shortages; help Nepal continue its significant health progress by extending services to more women, children and populations marginalized by remote geography or ethnic differences

GHI on the ground: American health experts will help Nepal become self-sufficient in its research and data collection; even though those things are happening successfully right now, they are largely done by non-Nepalese people and agencies.

(Sources: CIA; GHI country strategy documents; Kaiser Family Foundation; UN; www.foreignassistance.gov)

Funding for this project is provided by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation as part of its U.S. Global Health Policy program.