Diseases and Disease Control
Poor health conditions were evident in the high rate of
mortality and a short life expectancy. In the mid-1960s, a
health survey was conducted. In 1991 that survey was still
considered the major comprehensive published source of
on the national public health situation.
A number of diseases and chronic infections were
Goiter, a disease directly associated with iodine
endemic in certain villages in the hills and mountains. In
the villages surveyed, more than half of the population
and in these same villages the incidence of deafness and
retardation was much higher than in other villages.
was a serious problem. Foreign assistance, specifically
Christian missions, was responsible for setting up leprosy
treatment centers in different parts of the country.
has been a chronic problem and was more common in urban
During the 1970s, the Tuberculosis Control Project was
to provide immunizations to all children younger than
it is likely that this project has reduced tuberculosis.
chronic, widespread problems were intestinal parasites,
and gastrointestinal disorders. Some polio and typhoid
were common but not severe.
Malnutrition was a chronic problem, especially in rural
More than 50 percent of the children surveyed were
reported to have
stunted growth. "Wasting," defined as a condition in which
has very low weight for his or her height, was also
conditions were particularly bad in the Hill and Mountain
both of which suffered from food shortages. The country's
health program, however, has essentially eliminated
has been able to control malaria, which used to be endemic
Tarai Region and other lowlands.
Data as of September 1991