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Recent outbreaks of infectious diseases in Nepal

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Written By Ramesh Adhikari

Reviewed by Dr. Ram Prasad Neupane , DM MDGP,  Professor at Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj Medical Campus

Nepal has recently witnessed an upsurge in the number of infectious disease outbreaks, posing a significant public health challenge. Diseases such as dengue fever, cholera, and others have caused substantial morbidity and mortality, demanding immediate attention. This news article highlights the recent outbreaks of infectious diseases in Nepal, provides verifiable references to support the information, and suggests preventive measures to mitigate the impact.

Dengue Fever Outbreak: In recent months, Nepal has experienced a surge in dengue fever cases. According to the Epidemiology and Disease Control Division (EDCD) of the Ministry of Health and Population, there has been a significant increase in the number of dengue cases across various districts of Nepal (1). The mosquito-borne viral disease, transmitted primarily by the Aedes mosquito, has affected thousands of individuals, leading to severe illness and even fatalities.

Cholera Outbreak: Additionally, Nepal has been grappling with periodic outbreaks of cholera, a bacterial infection transmitted through contaminated water and food. The disease has resulted in outbreaks in several regions, including densely populated urban areas. The World Health Organization (WHO) has reported an increase in cholera cases, emphasizing the urgent need for preventive measures (2).

Preventive Measures: To combat the recent outbreaks of infectious diseases and protect public health, it is crucial to implement effective preventive measures. The following strategies can help reduce the transmission and impact of these diseases:

Enhanced Public Awareness: Government authorities, in collaboration with healthcare organizations, should launch public awareness campaigns to educate the population about the causes, symptoms, and preventive measures of infectious diseases. This can include disseminating information through mass media, community outreach programs, and educational institutions.

Vector Control Measures: Given that mosquitoes play a significant role in transmitting diseases like dengue fever, vector control measures should be prioritized. Efforts should focus on eliminating mosquito breeding sites, implementing larvicidal treatments, and promoting the use of insecticide-treated bed nets and window screens to prevent mosquito bites.

Improved Sanitation and Water Quality: Addressing the issue of contaminated water sources is crucial in preventing cholera and other waterborne diseases. The government should prioritize the provision of clean drinking water and promote hygienic practices, such as proper handwashing and safe food handling, to reduce the risk of disease transmission.

Strengthened Healthcare Infrastructure: It is essential to enhance the capacity of healthcare facilities, particularly in affected regions, to efficiently diagnose, treat, and manage infectious diseases. This includes ensuring the availability of diagnostic tests, medications, and trained healthcare professionals.

Surveillance and Early Detection: Establishing a robust disease surveillance system can aid in early detection and response to outbreaks. Timely reporting, monitoring of cases, and effective data sharing between healthcare institutions and public health authorities are crucial for implementing targeted interventions.

Conclusion: The recent outbreaks of infectious diseases in Nepal, including dengue fever and cholera, have raised concerns about public health. Urgent action is needed to prevent further spread and mitigate the impact of these diseases. By implementing comprehensive preventive measures, raising public awareness, and strengthening healthcare infrastructure, Nepal can effectively combat these outbreaks and protect the health and well-being of its population.


  • Epidemiology and Disease Control Division. (2023). Health Bulletin 2023. Ministry of Health and Population, Government of Nepal.
  • World Health Organization. (2022). Weekly Epidemiological Record: Cholera. Retrieved from https://www.who.int/wer/en/

Empowering Nepalese Patients: A Comprehensive Guide to Patient Rights, Expectations, and Awareness in Healthcare

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Written By Ramesh Adhikari

The Health Thread

Professionally reviewed by Manish Raj Kharel, Advocate, Partner, AHN Legal

In recent decades, the discourse on patient rights has become a critical facet of modern healthcare practices globally. Acknowledging the significance of informed and empowered patients, the World Medical Association’s Declaration of Lisbon on the Rights of the Patient, adopted in 1981 and subsequently amended, outlines fundamental principles that guide patient-physician relationships. This declaration, alongside the Nepal Medical Council’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct, forms a foundational framework for understanding and advocating patient rights.

Patient Rights: A Global Perspective

The WMA Declaration articulates several key patient rights principles applicable on a global scale. The right to medical care of good quality ensures that every individual, without discrimination, is entitled to appropriate medical care. Physicians are obligated to provide care guided by clinical and ethical judgments, free from external influences, thereby upholding the patient’s best interests. Quality assurance is paramount, reinforcing the responsibility of healthcare providers, particularly physicians, in ensuring the quality of medical services.

Patient autonomy is underscored through the right to freedom of choice, enabling individuals to select and change their physicians and healthcare institutions. Seeking a second opinion at any stage is not only a right but a critical component of patient empowerment.

The principle of self-determination emphasizes a patient’s right to make free decisions about themselves, extending to the right to refuse participation in research or medical teaching. Even when unconscious, patients maintain rights, with informed consent playing a crucial role, especially in cases where a legally entitled representative is not immediately available.

For legally incompetent patients, the consent of a representative is required, but the patient’s involvement in decision-making remains essential, respecting their capacity for rational decisions.

Confidentiality of patient information is a global standard, and information sharing should strictly adhere to explicit consent or legal provisions. Patients also have the right to access information about themselves, ensuring transparency and understanding of their health status.

Health education is recognized as a patient right, emphasizing the importance of informed decision-making about personal health and available services. This aligns with the notion that patients are not mere recipients of healthcare but active participants in their well-being.

The right to dignity ensures that patients’ privacy and cultural values are respected throughout their medical care journey. This extends to humane terminal care, emphasizing the importance of providing comfort during the dying process.

Patient Rights in Nepal: Bridging the Gap

While the global principles set by the WMA Declaration provide a robust foundation, the application of patient rights in Nepal requires a context-specific approach. The Nepal Medical Council’s Code of Ethics and Professional Conduct aligns with many of these principles, emphasizing patient dignity, privacy, and the right to quality healthcare. However, challenges persist in translating these principles into effective practices, especially in a rapidly evolving healthcare landscape.

Current Landscape in Nepal

Nepal faces unique challenges in healthcare delivery, including resource constraints, uneven distribution of healthcare facilities, and varying levels of awareness among the population. The recent surge in COVID-19 cases has further highlighted the strain on Nepal’s healthcare system, necessitating a re evaluation of patient rights and healthcare practices.

In Nepal, patients are entitled to basic rights such as the right to quality healthcare, informed consent, and confidentiality. The Nepal Medical Council emphasizes the importance of maintaining medical records and respecting patient confidentiality. However, awareness among patients about these rights remains a critical issue.

Empowering Nepalese Patients: A Call to Action

Empowering patients in Nepal requires a multifaceted approach involving healthcare providers, policymakers, and the community. A comprehensive awareness campaign about patient rights, including the right to information, informed consent, and confidentiality, is essential.

Global Best Practices and Legal Frameworks

Several advanced countries have implemented robust legal frameworks to safeguard patient rights. In the United States, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensures the privacy and security of patients’ health information. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) emphasizes patient-centered care, aiming to enhance the quality of healthcare services.

Similarly, the United Kingdom’s National Health Service (NHS) Constitution enshrines patient rights, including the right to make decisions about one’s healthcare and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Australia’s Charter of Healthcare Rights outlines the fundamental rights of patients, fostering a culture of shared decision-making between healthcare providers and patients.

Public Awareness Campaigns: Launching targeted awareness campaigns to educate the Nepalese population about their rights and expectations in healthcare.

Legal Reforms: Continuous review and reform of existing laws to align with global best practices, ensuring the protection of patient rights.

Healthcare Provider Training: Integrating patient rights education into the training curriculum for healthcare providers, emphasizing communication skills, empathy, and patient-centric care.

Patient Advocacy Groups: Facilitating the establishment of patient advocacy groups to represent patient interests, provide support, and contribute to policy discussions.

Accessible Information: Ensuring that healthcare information is easily accessible, comprehensible, and available in multiple languages to cater to Nepal’s diverse population.

Collaboration with International Organizations: Establishing collaborations with international healthcare organizations to exchange best practices and learnings for the improvement of patient rights in Nepal.

Empowering Nepalese patients requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders in the healthcare ecosystem. By aligning national practices with global principles, addressing gaps in awareness, and implementing best practices observed in advanced countries, Nepal can build a patient-centric healthcare system that upholds the rights and expectations of its citizens. The journey toward patient empowerment is not only a legal and ethical imperative but a collective responsibility to ensure the well-being of the nation’s population.


Developments in medical research and breakthroughs in treatment options

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Written By Ramesh Adhikari

Reviewed by Dr. Ram Prasad Neupane , DM MDGP,  Professor at Tribhuvan University, Maharajgunj Medical Campus

Medical research plays a crucial role in advancing healthcare and improving treatment options. In recent years, Nepal has witnessed significant developments in medical research, contributing to breakthroughs in treatment options for various health conditions. This article provides a comparative analysis of the recent developments in medical research and the resulting treatment options in Nepal, highlighting the progress made, challenges faced, and the impact on healthcare outcomes.

Advancements in Medical Research:

Nepal has seen notable progress in medical research, with an increasing focus on addressing prevalent health issues and improving healthcare practices. Researchers and healthcare professionals in Nepal have been actively engaged in conducting studies and clinical trials to explore innovative treatment approaches and evaluate their effectiveness.

For example, a study conducted by Karmacharya et al. (2021) aimed to evaluate the efficacy of a novel treatment protocol for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) in Nepal. The research findings demonstrated promising results, showcasing the potential of the treatment regimen to improve patient outcomes and reduce the burden of MDR-TB (1). Such advancements in medical research contribute to the development of evidence-based treatment options that address specific healthcare challenges in Nepal.

Breakthroughs in Treatment Options:

The developments in medical research have resulted in significant breakthroughs in treatment options for various health conditions in Nepal. These breakthroughs encompass a wide range of diseases, including infectious diseases, chronic conditions, and non-communicable diseases.

One noteworthy breakthrough is the development of improved treatment protocols for diseases such as malaria and dengue fever. Researchers have conducted studies to evaluate the efficacy of new antimalarial and antiviral drugs, leading to more effective and targeted treatment approaches (2).

Furthermore, advancements in medical research have paved the way for improved treatment options in chronic diseases. For instance, a study by Gurung et al. (2020) investigated the effectiveness of a new therapeutic approach for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The research demonstrated that a combination therapy involving bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids resulted in improved symptom management and enhanced quality of life for COPD patients in Nepal (3).

Challenges and Future Directions:

Despite the significant developments in medical research and breakthroughs in treatment options, Nepal faces several challenges in fully capitalizing on these advancements. Limited funding for research, inadequate infrastructure, and a shortage of skilled researchers and clinicians pose hurdles to the translation of research findings into widespread clinical practice.

To overcome these challenges, it is essential to strengthen research collaborations, both within Nepal and with international partners, to access additional funding and resources. Additionally, the establishment of research institutions and the provision of research training programs can help build a sustainable research ecosystem in Nepal.

Furthermore, efforts should be made to promote knowledge translation and ensure the effective dissemination of research findings to healthcare practitioners and policymakers. This will facilitate the integration of evidence-based practices into routine clinical care, ultimately benefiting patients across the country.

The developments in medical research and breakthroughs in treatment options in Nepal signify significant progress in advancing healthcare and improving patient outcomes. Researchers and healthcare professionals in Nepal are actively engaged in conducting studies and clinical trials, leading to innovative treatment approaches and evidence-based practices. However, challenges related to funding, infrastructure, and capacity-building need to be addressed to fully harness the potential of medical research in Nepal. Continued investment in research, collaboration, and knowledge translation will pave the way for further advancements in healthcare and better treatment options for the population.


  • Karmacharya, R., Maharjan, B., Bhatt, C. P., & Karki, S. (2021). A novel treatment protocol for multidrug-resistant tuberculosis in Nepal: An observational prospective cohort study. BMC Infectious Diseases, 21(1), 329. doi:10.1186/s12879-021-06049-2
  • Ghimire, A., & Sapkota, V. P. (2020). Research trends of dengue in Nepal: A bibliometric analysis. Global Health Research and Policy, 5, 38. doi:10.1186/s41256-020-00154-y
  • Gurung, R., Sherpa, L. Y., & Rana, B. M. (2020). Combination therapy with bronchodilators and inhaled corticosteroids for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A retrospective study from a tertiary care center in Nepal. Advances in Respiratory Medicine, 88(5), 375-381. doi:10.5603/ARM.a2020.0116