Abstract | April 5, 2022

Health Issues Among the Youth of Nepal: A Literature Review

Presenting Author: Miranda Lynn Pfautsch, OMS-III, Nova Southeastern University Dr. Kiran C. Patel College of Osteopathic Medicine, Clearwater, FL

Coauthors: Veenah Francis, OMS-II, NSU KPCOM, Clearwater, FL; J. Austin Barnes, MS, OMS-I, NSU KPCOM, Clearwater, FL; Naomi Edwin, OMS-II, NSU KPCOM, Clearwater, FL; Kripa Dahal, OMS-II, NSU KPCOM, Clearwater, FL

Learning Objectives

  1. Identify health issues faced by school-aged children over 5 years old face in Nepal;
  2. Discuss interventions that may be implemented to enhance children's health and future.

Background: Nepal is one of the world’s least-developed countries due to years of isolation and only recent independence. This has caused Nepalese children to suffer from a lack of resources, leading to suboptimal levels of health.

Objective: To investigate health issues and inequities faced by school-aged children greater than 5 years old in Nepal.

Materials and Methods: Search was conducted in the databases of PubMed and Global Health. Search concepts included “Nepal,” “health,” and “youth.” Search concepts were modified for each database to employ database-specific search terms. Only articles published during or after 2016 were included. Our search resulted in 294 articles. We then analyzed each of the titles and excluded titles that did not fit our criteria, leaving us with 69 articles. Each abstract was then read to determine if the article focused on our targeted concepts for our research, which narrowed our references to 35 articles. The full articles were then read and organized into the topics of Water/Sanitation, Nutrition, Dental Hygiene, Mental Health, and Medical Knowledge.

Results: Nepalese children are being affected by inadequate resources with poor health outcomes. Inefficient water and sanitation practices have led to parasitic infections and anemia. Children are malnourished which is related to growth stunting or abnormal BMI and increased incidence of dental caries. There is a lack of mental health support and medical education, as well.

Conclusion: The children of Nepal are experiencing health inequities with water and sanitation, nutrition, dental hygiene, mental health, and sufficient medical knowledge. The investigation of these health issues allows for the development and later implementation of interventions to lead to better health outcomes. Some possible interventions may include medical education, healthy diet plans in schools, treated water sources, dental exams, and open discussions regarding mental health. Other areas of health that should be explored include average activity levels, sleep hygiene, and spirituality.

Download Full Abstract for References and Resources