The Nepal Cabinet recently approved its Health Sector Strategic Plan 2023 – 2030 and eye health is part of it. The plan is in-line with Nepal’s constitution provided fundamental right of citizens to basic health care, fifteen long-term plan and the Public Health Act 2019.
Nepal has achieved several milestones in the health status of people such as reducing Maternal mortality from 539 in 1996 to 151 in 2022, infant mortality rate 21/1000 live birth, children malnutrition and stunting rate from to 57% in 1996 to 25% in 2022.
The forthcoming plan 2023 – 2030 has undertaken the following strategy:
- Universal access to health and social security.
- Health policy in coordination with federal, provincial, and local government.
- Health to be included in all national policy.
- Multi sectoral approach.
- An aim to reach the unreached.
- Improve the health administration and state’s accountability on people’s health.
- Professionalism and ethics
In the recent past eye health was not integrated within the health system of Nepal. Nepal included eye health for the first time in its Health policy in 2019. Based on the health policy, the Ministry of Health of Nepal endorsed the eye health strategy in 2023. This strategy was a significant milestone and talks about the integration of eye health in the country.
Now, for the first time the National Health Sector Plan has adopted one of the World Health Assembly’s indicator effective coverages of cataract surgery (eCSC) as one of the monitoring indicators in the national strategic health plan. The plan also set the eCSC base line as 35.4% of 2020 and to reach the target of 70% (34.6% point percentage increase) by 2030.
Image on top: Ophthalmic Assistants telling patients about the use of medicine/ Sunita Kunwar KC
Access the plan here