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Nepal, renowned as a country of mountains, is situated between 26'12' and 30'27' North & 80 degree 4' and 88 degree 12' East with total area of 147,181 square kilometer and is sandwiched between two countries i.e. by the People's Republic of China to the north, and Republic of India to the south, east, and west. The country is geographically distributed in three regions: Mountain, Hilly and Terai, with total population of 266 million. (Preliminary census report 2011 by CBS)
Only about 17% of its total population reside in urban area while majority are living in rural area. This un-sizable randomly distributed population are far from all basic needs like health, accessibility, education, communication, and other physical and social services . (Preliminary census report 2011 and census report of 2001 by CBS)
Since many years, Nepal is facing several natural and manmade disasters. Earthquake, flash flood, landslide, soil erosion, fire, drought, environmental disaster, degradation of ecosystem, epidemic diseases, etc. are frequently faced natural disaster of the country. Similarly, armed conflict, communal riot, migration, population explosion, nutrition problem, gender bias, lack of basic needs, hierarchy in caste and ethnic group, poverty, etc are the most faced social problems. Political instability, unequal distribution of services and social harmful practices, further contribute to increment of the problems (socially, psychologically and physically) during the emergencies.
As according to the Department of Health services, there are about 117 government/non government/private hospitals, 208 primary health centre, 675 health posts, and 3,127 sub-health posts (established to serve rural areas). In addition, there are 11,367 registered physicians and nationwide there are approximately 60 psychiatrists serving for about 266 million. Although 6.24% of national budget is allocated for health sector however, only about 1% of the total health budget is being spent on mental health. On top of that, most of their services are based in urban areas mainly in big cities giving least attention to the rural areas. (Annual Report of Department of health services 2009/2010)
In such situation, psychosocial and mental health services are very limited in Nepal basically, in rural areas where about 83% of the population resides. Ironically, people facing more mental health problems are the ones far from basic mental health facilities. (Preliminary census report 2011 by CBS and Annual Report of Department of health services 2009/2010).
In case of natural and social emergency/disaster, psychosocial and mental health problems like depression, anxiety/worry, aggression, violent behavior, suicidal thoughts, loneliness, low self-esteem, frustration, humiliation, fainting attack, fear, sadness, etc. could erupt geometrically. Due to lack of infrastructure, inaccessibility, limited resources, etc such problems couldn’t be addressed immediately and their effect might be unimaginable.
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In the context of Nepal where limited psychosocial and mental health services are accessible, there should be at least consolidated records of MHPS service providers so that the community based psychosocial resources could be mobilized during the emergencies. In order to address this issue, centralized data based systems have been initiated and published through this website. In any form of emergency, this information could be supportive to provide MHPS services on time with limited available resources.