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Dhimal M.,Nepal Health Research Council NHRC | Dhimal M.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Dhimal M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Gautam I.,Tribhuvan University | And 5 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2015

The presence of the recently introduced primary dengue virus vector mosquito Aedes aegypti in Nepal, in association with the likely indigenous secondary vector Aedes albopictus, raises public health concerns. Chikungunya fever cases have also been reported in Nepal, and the virus causing this disease is also transmitted by these mosquito species. Here we report the results of a study on the risk factors for the presence of chikungunya and dengue virus vectors, their elevational ceiling of distribution, and climatic determinants of their abundance in central Nepal.We collected immature stages of mosquitoes during six monthly cross-sectional surveys covering six administrative districts along an altitudinal transect in central Nepal that extended from Birgunj (80 m above sea level [asl]) to Dhunche (highest altitude sampled: 2,100 m asl). The dengue vectors Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus were commonly found up to 1,350 m asl in Kathmandu valley and were present but rarely found from 1,750 to 2,100 m asl in Dhunche. The lymphatic filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus was commonly found throughout the study transect. Physiographic region, month of collection, collection station and container type were significant predictors of the occurrence and co-occurrence of Ae. aegypti and Ae. albopictus. The climatic variables rainfall, temperature, and relative humidity were significant predictors of chikungunya and dengue virus vectors abundance.We conclude that chikungunya and dengue virus vectors have already established their populations up to the High Mountain region of Nepal and that this may be attributed to the environmental and climate change that has been observed over the decades in Nepal. The rapid expansion of the distribution of these important disease vectors in the High Mountain region, previously considered to be non-endemic for dengue and chikungunya fever, calls for urgent actions to protect the health of local people and tourists travelling in the central Himalayas. © 2015 Dhimal et al. Source


Dhimal M.,Nepal Health Research Council NHRC | Dhimal M.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Dhimal M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Gautam I.,Tribhuvan University | And 4 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2014

Background:Rapidly increasing temperatures in the mountain region of Nepal and recent reports of dengue fever and lymphatic filariasis cases from mountainous areas of central Nepal prompted us to study the spatio-temporal distribution of the vectors of these two diseases along an altitudinal transect in central Nepal.Methodology/Principal Findings:We conducted a longitudinal study in four distinct physiographical regions of central Nepal from September 2011 to February 2012. We used BG-Sentinel and CDC light traps to capture adult mosquitoes. We found the geographical distribution of the dengue virus vectors Aedes aegypti and Aedes albopictus along our study transect to extend up to 1,310 m altitude in the Middle Mountain region (Kathmandu). The distribution of the lymphatic filariasis vector Culex quinquefasciatus extended up to at least 2,100 m in the High Mountain region (Dhunche). Statistical analysis showed a significant effect of the physiographical region and month of collection on the abundance of A. aegypti and C. quinquefasciatus only. BG-Sentinel traps captured significantly higher numbers of A. aegypti than CDC light traps. The meteorological factors temperature, rainfall and relative humidity had significant effects on the mean number of A. aegypti per BG-Sentinel trap. Temperature and relative humidity were significant predictors of the number of C. quinquefasciatus per CDC light trap. Dengue fever and lymphatic filariasis cases had previously been reported from all vector positive areas except Dhunche which was free of known lymphatic filariasis cases.Conclusions/Significance:We conclude that dengue virus vectors have already established stable populations up to the Middle Mountains of Nepal, supporting previous studies, and report for the first time the distribution of lymphatic filariasis vectors up to the High Mountain region of this country. The findings of our study should contribute to a better planning and scaling-up of mosquito-borne disease control programmes in the mountainous areas of Nepal. © 2014 Dhimal et al. Source


Thapa N.,NepaleseArmy Institute of Health science | Aryal K.K.,University of Oslo | Aryal K.K.,Nepal Health Research Council NHRC | Puri R.,University of Oslo | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2016

Background: Alcohol chemically known as ethanol, causes several health, economic and social consequences across the world. Literatures suggest potential harm of alcohol drinking by pregnant women especially to the fetus and the mother. Despite anumber of significant public health problems related to alcohol consumption, this area has been ignored in Nepal and information at the national level is limited. Thus this study aimed at finding the prevalence of alcohol consumption among married women of reproductive age. Methods: A nationally representative household survey was carried out from April to August 2013 by taking 16 districts across all 15 eco administrative regions. From the selected districts, 86 village development committees and 14 municipalities were selected as primary sampling units using probability proportionate to size, followed by random selection of 3 wards from each primary sampling unit. Finally, 30 households within each ward were selected using systematic random sampling, and one married women of reproductive age from each household. A total of 9000 married women of reproductive age were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire, on alcohol consumption practices including environmental factors and socio demographic characteristics and were included in the analysis. Results: National prevalence of alcohol consumption ever among married women of reproductive age was 24.7% (95% CI:21.7-28.0), last 12 months 17.9% (95% CI:15.3-20.7) and last 30 days (current drinking) 11.8% (95% CI:9.8-14.1). There was substantial variation among the districts ranging from 2% to 60%. Multivariable analysis suggests women with no education or within formal education, dalit and janajatis ethnicity, whose husbands drink alcohol, who brew alcohol at home and women from mountains were significantly at higher risk of consuming alcohol. Among the women who drank alcohol in last 12 months, a substantial proportion of them drank home brewed alcoholic beverages (95.9%, 95% CI:94.3-97.4). Conclusion: Alcohol consumption was common practice among married women of reproductive age in Nepal with variation among the subgroups of population. Thus, further investigation and behavior change communication interventions to reduce alcohol consumption especially among the women with higher risk of drinking is essential. © 2016 Thapa et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Aryal K.K.,Nepal Health Research Council NHRC | Mehata S.,Nepal Health Sector Support Programme NHSSP | Neupane S.,Nepal Health Research Council NHRC | Vaidya A.,Kathmandu Medical College | And 11 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Background World Health Organization (WHO) estimates for deaths attributed to Non Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in Nepal have risen from 51% in 2010 to 60% in 2014. This study assessed the distribution and determinants of NCD risk factors among the Nepalese adult population. Methods and Findings A nationally representative cross-sectional survey was conducted from Jan to June 2013 on the prevalence of NCD risk factors using the WHO NCD STEPS instrument. A multistage cluster sampling method was used to randomly select the 4,200 respondents. The adjusted prevalence ratio (APR) was used to assess the determinants of NCD risk factors using a Poisson regression model. The prevalence of current smoking (last 30 days) was 19% (95%CI:16.6-20.6), and harmful alcohol consumption (≥60 g of pure alcohol for men and ≥40 g of pure alcohol for women on an average day) was 2% (95%CI:1.4-2.9). Almost all (99%, 95%CI:98.3-99.3) of the respondents consumed less than five servings of fruits and vegetables combined on an average day and 3% (95%CI:2.7-4.3) had low physical activity. Around 21% (95%CI:19.3-23.7) were overweight or obese (BMI≥25). The prevalence of raised blood pressure (SBP≥140 mm of Hg or DBP≥90 mm of Hg) and raised blood glucose (fasting blood glucose ≥126 mg/dl), including those on medication were 26% (95% CI:23.6-28.0) and 4% (95%CI:2.9-4.5) respectively. Almost one quarter of respondents, 23% (95%CI:20.5-24.9), had raised total cholesterol (total cholesterol ≥190 mg/dl or under current medication for raised cholesterol). he study revealed a lower prevalence of smoking among women than men (APR:0.30; 95%CI:0.25-0.36), and in those who had higher education levels compared to those with no formal education (APR:0.39; 95%CI:0.26-0.58). Harmful alcohol use was also lower in women than men (APR:0.26; 95%CI:0.14-0.48), and in Terai residents compared to hill residents (APR:0.16; 95%CI:0.07-0.36). Physical inactivity was lower among women than men (APR:0.55; 95%CI:0.38-0.80), however women were significantly more overweight and obese (APR:1.19; 95%CI:1.02-1.39). Being overweight or obese was significantly less prevalent in mountain residents than in hill residents (APR:0.41; 95%CI:0.21-0.80), and in rural compared to urban residents (APR:1.39; 95% CI:1.15-1.67). Lower prevalence of raised blood pressure was observed among women than men (APR:0.69; 95%CI: 0.60-0.80). Higher prevalence of raised blood glucose was observed among urban residents compared to rural residents (APR:2.05; 95%CI:1.29- 3.25). A higher prevalence of raised total cholesterol was observed among the respondents having higher education levels compared to those respondents having no formal education (APR:1.76; 95%CI:1.35-2.28). © 2015 Aryal et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Dhimal M.,Nepal Health Research Council NHRC | Dhimal M.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | Dhimal M.,Goethe University Frankfurt | Ahrens B.,Biodiversity and Climate Research Center | And 3 more authors.
Malaria Journal | Year: 2014

Malaria is still a priority public health problem of Nepal where about 84% of the population are at risk. The aim of this paper is to highlight the past and present malaria situation in this country and its challenges for long-term malaria elimination strategies. Methods. Malariometric indicator data of Nepal recorded through routine surveillance of health facilities for the years between 1963 and 2012 were compiled. Trends and differences in malaria indicator data were analysed. Results: The trend of confirmed malaria cases in Nepal between 1963 and 2012 shows fluctuation, with a peak in 1985 when the number exceeded 42,321, representing the highest malaria case-load ever recorded in Nepal. This was followed by a steep declining trend of malaria with some major outbreaks. Nepal has made significant progress in controlling malaria transmission over the past decade: total confirmed malaria cases declined by 84% (12,750 in 2002 vs 2,092 in 2012), and there was only one reported death in 2012. Based on the evaluation of the National Malaria Control Programme in 2010, Nepal recently adopted a long-term malaria elimination strategy for the years 2011-2026 with the ambitious vision of a malaria-free Nepal by 2026. However, there has been an increasing trend of Plasmodium falciparum and imported malaria proportions in the last decade. Furthermore, the analysis of malariometric indicators of 31 malaria-risk districts between 2004 and 2012 shows a statistically significant reduction in the incidence of confirmed malaria and of Plasmodium vivax, but not in the incidence of P. falciparum and clinically suspected malaria. Conclusions: Based on the achievements the country has made over the last decade, Nepal is preparing to move towards malaria elimination by 2026. However, considerable challenges lie ahead. These include especially, the need to improve access to diagnostic facilities to confirm clinically suspected cases and their treatment, the development of resistance in parasites and vectors, climate change, and increasing numbers of imported cases from a porous border with India. Therefore, caution is needed before the country embarks towards malaria elimination. © 2014Dhimal et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd. Source

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