Priority public health interventions and research agendas in post-earthquake Nepal
Journal: South East Asia Journal of Public Health
The occurrence of natural disasters including earthquake is becoming more frequent phenomena worldwide. All these disasters trigger huge damages to infrastructure, economies as well as population health. Nepal’s earthquake in 2015 has multiple effects on population health and health services delivery. Many public health facilities, mostly health posts or sub-healthposts, were damaged or completely destroyed. Priority health services such as immunization and antenatal care were also seriously affected. The earthquake has prompted the need for a disaster-related population-health-research agenda as well as renewed disaster strategy in post-earthquake Nepal. Meanwhile, it also unveiled the gap in knowledge and practice regarding earthquake resilience in Nepal. There is an opportunity for school-based and community-based interventions in both disaster preparedness and resilience. Nepal can build on experiences from other countries as well as from its own. We have discussed possible impacts of the Nepal earthquake on population health and health system infrastructures. We have also suggested possible public health interventions bestowing active awareness among the population and a research agenda in this regard. We strongly urge for the translation of the National Health Policy (2014) into action, as it prioritizes the need of an earthquake resistant infrastructure as well as the implementation of a disaster response plan.