We work to reduce child and maternal mortalities through essential maternal and newborn care and ensure full immunization.
UNICEF has an extensive global health presence, and strong partnerships with governments and non-governmental organizations at the national and community levels. We know what it takes to ensure the survival and health of children and women. On a daily basis we work to bring practical solutions to the women and children at greatest risk.
In past two decades, Nepal has made significant progress in improving the health of children and women. The country has been declared polio-free as no new polio case has been discovered since 2010.
Nepal received Millennium Development Goal (MDG) Award for commitment and progress towards improving maternal health. It is also one of the seven countries in the world currently on track to reduce child mortality as under-five mortality rate has been reduced by 67 per cent between 1996 to 2016.
However, there are numerous challenges that country still needs to deal with.
- The neonatal mortality rate (rate of death during first 28 days after birth) remains high as 21 deaths per 1000 live birth, where as under-five mortality is 39 deaths per 1000 live births. (NDHS 2016)
- The neonatal mortality rate is twice as high among the poorest wealth quintile compared with the richest one, and higher among younger mothers.
Improving the health of the world's children is a core UNICEF objective. Healthy children become healthy adults: people who create better lives for themselves, their communities and their countries.
In this current country programme (2018-2022), our health component will be guided by the National Health Policy 2014 and the Nepal Health Sector Strategy Implementation Plan (2016-2021), which is implemented through a sector-wide approach of the Ministry of Health and its development partners. In the new federal structure, we will also provide support to strengthen local capacity for planning, budgeting and tracking health system performance and expenditure to ensure the delivery of quality maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services. To address other health related challenges, we will
- Establish intensive care units for newborns and relevant referral systems to increase access to quality services for mothers and newborns.
- Strengthen early detection of developmental delays, impairments and disabilities among high-risk newborn babies.
- Promote positive care seeking behaviour to address practices that harms the care of mothers and newborns.
- Sustain high-level immunization coverage by strengthening of the immunization supply chain system.
- Strengthen capacity of Female Community Health Volunteers (FCHV) and health workers to improve access to gender and adolescent-sensitive health services.
- Promote healthy behaviour by adolescents, using direct outreach, mass and social media and e-health platforms.
- Support disaster preparedness by strengthening the capacity to develop policies, raise awareness on disaster and climate-related health risks and by use technical assistance for the real-time reporting of service delivery.
- Develop a strategy to prevent pneumonia through multi-sectoral collaboration to reduce indoor and outdoor pollution and to improve care for pneumonia through improved diagnostic aids and treatment methods.
- Address adolescent health issues, including teenage pregnancy, mental health through the implementation of the National Adolescent Health and Development Strategy (2017).