Nepal is a landlocked country with diverse
altitudinal variation (70 m to 8848 m) located in the Himalayan
region. Children population (0-14 yr) in Nepal was notably large
(42.4%, based on the latest census in 1991) and a high infant
mortality was one of the major child health problem(1). Training of
doctors and health manpower is a time consuming process and recently
there has been an increasing opportunity for undergraduate medical
educa-tion in Nepal. Training in pediatric speciality started in
1987(2). A thorough study on the availability of pediatricians in
Nepal is unavailable.
A complete analysis of all available resources
related to pediatricians in Nepal were searched and reviewed. Formally
registered information on ‘pediatricians’ in the latest medical
doctor’s directory(3) was analyzed.
There were a total of 120 pediatric physicians and
surgeons in Nepal. Of 120, four were pediatric surgeons and 77.5% were
males. The pediatrician and children popula-tion (<14 years) ratio
was more than 1:65,340. Geographically, 53.3% pediatri-cians reported
their permanent addresses in Kathmandu (population: 6% of total) and
43.3% in outside districts. Sixty nine per cent pediatricians recorded
their permanent address in urban areas. Only four of them were
foreigners. The pediatricians working in Kathmandu, outside districts
and foreign countries were 65.0%, 26.7%, and 8.3%, respectively. Among
the total 32, 57 and 21 pediatricians were working in a pediatric
hospital, other hospitals, and private clinics, respectively. On
analysis of their qualifica-tions, 60.0% of the pediatricians had a
diploma in pediatrics and the rest had other post-graduate degrees.
‘Brahmin’ and ‘Newar’ (population: 12.9% and 5.6% of total,
respectively) consisted of nearly two-third (63.6%) of total
General pediatricians and child health workers
should be trained, based on the diverse composition of the Nepali
society, to cope up with the community pediatric prob-lems scattered
in several diverse geographical areas.
We would like to thank Nepal Medical Association
for providing doctor’s directory to us.
Narayan Bahadur Basnet, Igarashi Takashi,
Department of Pediatrics, The University of Tokyo,
7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-Ku,
1. Basnet NB, Yoichi S, Yanagisawa M.
Geo-socio-economic aspects of infant mortality in Nepal. Int Med J
1998; 5: 51-55.
2. Dixit H, maskey BK. Medical Education in Nepal.
Nepal Medical Council, Nepal Medical Association, Kathmandu, Nepal,
3. Nepal Medical Association, Doctor’s Directory 1998, Third
Edition. Nepal Medical Association, Kathmandu, Nepal, 1998.