Directions for surgical capacity developments in Nepal: a population-based assessment

Arjan J. Knulst*, Shailvi Gupta, Reinou S. Groen, Dipak Maharjan, Amatya S. Kapendra, Jenny Dankelman, Adam L. Kushner

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

44 Downloads (Pure)


Objectives: Lack of access to safe surgery is seen as a major issue that needs to be addressed. The aim of this study was to understand which combinations of factors relate to high occurrences of unmet needs and disability in Nepal, and consequently, how to focus future work to maximise impact in this country. Methods: A large population-based survey was conducted in Nepal in 2014 to evaluate the unmet surgical needs that result in disability. Recorded factors included diseased anatomical areas, disease specifics, disease locations, injury types, reasons for having an unmet need and the types of disability. Results: Included in the study were 2695 individuals. The anatomical areas facing the highest disabling unmet surgical need were Head (3.9% of population), Groin/Genitalia (2.2% of population) and Extremities (3.6% of population). Four focus areas could be defined. Increase affordability, availability and acceptability of surgical care to non-traumatic disabling conditions of (i) the eye, and (ii) extremities, and (iii) to traumatic disabling conditions of extremities and finally (iv) increase acceptability of having surgical care for non-traumatic conditions in the groin and genital area. For the latter, fear/no trust was the main reason for receiving no surgical care despite the resulting shame. Conclusions: This study defined four focus areas that showed the largest unmet needs that resulted in a perceived disability. For those areas, affordability, availability and acceptability of surgical need to be addressed through technical developments, capacity building and raising awareness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1128-1137
JournalTropical Medicine and International Health
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • disability
  • global surgery
  • low and middle income country
  • Nepal
  • unmet need


Dive into the research topics of 'Directions for surgical capacity developments in Nepal: a population-based assessment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this