Nepal: Country Profile
between the two most populous countries in the world, the People's Republic
of China in the north and the Republic of India in the south, the population
of Nepal is increasing at an alarming rate. Despite the remarkable progress
made in reducing Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) and Maternal Mortality Rate
(MMR), the challenges ahead are tremendous.
Nepal is one of the poorest countries in the world and one of the few,
where women have a shorter life span than men (59.6 years compared to
60.1). Women’s low status and limited decision making power, coupled
with low levels of literacy and education, harmful traditional practices
and widespread poverty contribute to poor general health and high maternal
and infant mortality rates.
Low demand for and access to primary and reproductive health services
constitute one of the country's main challenges. For example, only thirteen
per cent of all births are attended by a skilled birth assistant. The
majority of Nepal’s 23.2 million people live in inaccessible, hard-to-reach
areas and have to travel long distances to reach adequate services.