For Every Child, Health

All children survive and thrive

Mother and son
UNICEF Nepal/2015/CSKarki


Nepal has made remarkable progress in reducing child mortality.Still many women and children don’t have the chance to reach their full potential due to various challneges.

Challenges in Nepal's health sector.

A persistent challenge in improving and sustaining maternal and child health status includes poor quality of care. High maternal and child mortality is due to inadequate sub-standard quality of care at home and in health facilities; most of these deaths can be prevented and mortality can be reduced through sustained improvement in service quality.

Inequity in health service delivery is another dimension that contributes to poor health status of women and children. Children from the wealthiest households live longer, the poorest and most vulnerable children are more likely to die before the age of five. Poor and vulnerable children are more likely to be stunted and to be out of school, often because of poor nutrition and health. Girls, children with disabilities and children from ethnic minority groups are the most likely to be marginalized and excluded.
Systemic challenges including weak data management, inadequate skilled human resources, weak procurement and supply systems, insufficient monitoring and supervision, inadequate resource allocation, fragile leadership and governance significantly account for the underlined challenges. 

The political transition to federalism has exacerbated the existing challenges further demanding increased and consistent technical and financial support for strengthening the health system and local governance. Intensive support from stakeholders in the new decentralized context is vital to improve health systems.

Nepal is highly vulnerable to natural hazards such as earthquakes, floods and landslides. Rising temperatures and erratic rainfall also show that climate change will affect livelihoods and agricultural production. Disasters can easily weaken the health system and impact on mostly vulnerable women and children’s health.

Cover page
Publication date