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Impact of long term socio-political conflict on health: A traumatic Nepalese experience

Manoj Nepal

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(9): SR19-23

ID: 498419

Twelve years of traumatic experience of thousands of poor Nepalese is still lingering aftermath of the ceasefire between the government and the Maoist rebels and it has devastated all sectors of health care in the country. Almost twenty thousand peoples have lost their lives during this period as a direct result of or consequence of insurgency. About a quarter million people are internally displaced; many homeless and many more skilled people have fled the country. Nearly half of the people are deprived of basic health necessities and eighty percent of them with basic medical supplies. Repeated strikes and agitation organized by different groups and organizations have left the economy in limbo and has added woes and worries of daily living thus making necessary medical checkups a luxury. It has taken a heavy toll on the health of the nearly 85% of those people living in the countryside and one survey done recently shows more than half of them are suffering from anxiety, depression, posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive illnesses. To improve the ground situation and provide relief, the government has announced truce with Maoists and called different warring factions and ethnic minorities to the table for dialogue. A hard work needs to be done to raise the standards of living, meet aspirations of people and meet the millennium development goals (MDGs) as outlined by government; it also needs urgent humanitarian assistance from the national and international donor agencies.

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