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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 62  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 123-127

Assessing Nepal's health policies and programs from a human rights perspective

1 Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Patan Multiple Campus, Tribhuvan University, Patan, Nepal
2 Senior Researcher, Department of Research, Institute of Nepal Environment and Health System Development, Kathmandu, Nepal

Correspondence Address:
Sanjaya Aryal
P.O. Box: 14423, Kathmandu
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_308_16

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Background: The right to health is a fundamental part of human rights. Ensuring right to health is not straightforward; there are several challenges. Factors such as capacity of right holders and duty-bearers and practices of providing and utilizing services among others determine to ensure health rights for the whole population. Objective: The objective of this paper is to analyze whether the health policies and programs follow a human rights-based approach (HRBA) and assess the situation of rights to health among the poor and vulnerable population. Methods: The study assessed domestic instruments against human rights policies and analyzed the implementation status of the policies and programs. An analytical case study method is used by utilizing qualitative and quantitative data. Results: Around 90% medicines are available in the facilities; however, 22% of health worker posts are vacant. Persistence of unequal distribution of health facilities, high out-of-pocket payment, and cultural and language barriers does not ensure accessibility of health services. Acceptability of health-care services in terms of utilization rate and client satisfaction is improved after introduction of new policy. Nepal has made significant progress in improving maternal mortality ratio, infant/child mortality, immunization rates, and life expectancy at birth. Conclusions: Although a progressive realization of the right to health is being achieved, more efforts are still needed to follow HRBA so as to achieve quality and equity in health-care services.

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