Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Nepal Health Emergency

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

Nepal Health Emergency

Article excerpt

WHO is coordinating the response to the health emergency with the Nepal government following the devastating 7.8 magnitude earthquake that struck the Himalayan kingdom on 25 April, killing more than 8000 people and injuring more than 18 000 (as of 12 May).

Repeated aftershocks, including another major earthquake registering 7.3 on the Richter scale on 12 May, have also been recorded, putting the lives and health of millions of people at risk in many of the country's more than 70 districts.

Twenty-six hospitals and some 900 health facilities--mainly small health posts in remote, mountainous communities --were damaged or destroyed by the quake.

The five major hospitals in the capital Kathmandu continued to function thanks to retrofitting and other risk-reduction measures as part of a national preparedness campaign for a major earthquake.

More than 50 000 patients had been treated in hospitals in the 14 districts that were most affected by the earthquake as of 5 May, but gaps remained across many parts of the country in both emergency and routine health-care provision.

The Nepalese government and WHO have called on governments and other donors to provide health-care workers through two systems: the United Nations Health Cluster that provides humanitarian care workers and WHO's foreign medical team initiative. …

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