The Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal is a landlocked Asian country flanked by China and India. Located in the Himalayas, Nepal is best known for its mountainous terrain, which includes the tallest peak in the world, Mount Everest. The predominantly Hindu nation is home to 30.4 million people, most of whom live in the southern plains region or the hilly central region. Nepal has an incredibly diverse population of 125 different ethnic and caste groups speaking 123 different languages.

For the past several decades, Nepal has experienced periods of turmoil and change, including a Maoist insurgency and the abolition of its monarchy. The creation of a multiparty parliamentary system has resulted in greater political stability as well as opportunities to improve infrastructure and economic conditions. While the poverty rate has largely improved, dropping from 15 percent to 8 percent between 2010 and 2019, around 31 percent of people face significant risk of falling into extreme poverty, and substantial inequities persist in regard to urban-rural areas, gender, and caste.

Free basic health services are available to all citizens, which may have contributed to improving health indicators. The country’s life expectancy has increased from 60 years to 71 years since the 1990s. Additionally, Nepal has made significant progress in reducing HIV and TB and is on track to be malaria-free by 2025. Non-communicable diseases increasingly contribute to the most deaths in the country, including COPD, ischemic heart disease, stroke, cirrhosis, asthma, and chronic kidney disease. Ailments such as lower respiratory infections, neonatal disorders, tuberculosis, and diarrheal diseases continue to cause significant deaths, but have decreased over time. Epidemics still occur frequently, leading to high rates of both morbidity and mortality. It should be noted that mental health challenges and depressive disorders also contribute greatly to disability in Nepal, with self-harm being a top cause of death.

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