Social Determinants of Health in Nepal: Some Ethnographic Reflections


  • Kapil Babu Dahal Central Department of Anthropology, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal


social factors, health inequality, intersectionality, medical anthropology, Nepal


Despite its ubiquitous desirability, differences and discrepancies prevail in health. Dissimilarity and inconsistency in health is largely shaped by social determinants of health. Variations in the situation of health are influenced by societal structure or due to the differential experience in life course of people. This paper approaches social determinant as more than limited to fixed categories and rather as a dynamic process mainly because of the fluidity of structural factors. Unequal access to social and economic resources leads to health inequalities. Therefore, this approach regards health as socially constructed phenomenon but not the outcome of mere physical and pathological situation. Engaging with ethnographic evidences acquired from more than a decade of selected studies, this paper portrays how women’s health in different circumstances is socially shaped in Nepali society. This paper urges the anthropologists not be aloof but to engage in examining health development policies and upliftment of health and wellbeing of people at the margin.