Individual and community experience of rising burden of non-communicable diseases in two case districts of Nepal: a qualitative exploration

Sudesh R. Sharma, Anna Matheson, Danielle Lambrick, James Faulkner, David W. Lounsbury, Abhinav Vaidya, Rachel Page

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Introduction: Non-communicable diseases (NCDs) are a rapidly emerging global health challenge with multi-level determinants popularly known as social determinants. The objective of this paper is to describe the individual and community experiences of NCDs in the two case districts of Nepal from a social determinants of health perspective. Method: This study adopted qualitative study design to identify the experiences of NCDs. Sixty-three interviews were conducted with key informants from different sectors pertinent to NCD prevention at two case districts and at the policy level in Nepal. Twelve focus group discussions were conducted in the selected communities within those case districts. Data collection and analysis were informed by the adapted Social Determinants of Health Framework. The research team utilised the framework approach to carry out the thematic analysis. The study also involved three sense-making workshops with policy level and local stakeholders. Results: Three key themes emerged during the analysis. The first theme highlighted that individuals and communities were experiencing the rising burden of NCDs and metabolic risks in both urban and rural areas. The other two themes elaborated on the participant’s experiences based on their socio-economic background and gender. Disadvantaged populations were more vulnerable to the risk of NCDs. Further, being female put one into an even more disadvantaged position in experiencing NCD risks and accessing health services. Conclusion: The findings indicated that key social determinants such as age, geographical location, socio-economic status and gender were driving the NCD epidemic. There is an urgent need to take action on social determinants of health through multi-sectoral action, thus also translating the spirit of the recommendations made a decade ago by the Commission on Social Determinants of Health in addressing a complex challenge like NCDs in Nepal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-49
Number of pages9
JournalGlobal Health Promotion
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2022


  • Nepal
  • metabolic risks
  • non-communicable diseases (NCDs)
  • social determinants

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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