Background A number of sustainable development goals (i.e. SDGs 3, 8, 11 and 16) can be addressed by reducing injuries and incorporating injury prevention into national legislation, plans and policies. Institutions can be more effective if national laws guide prioritisation, development and implementation of plans. No comprehensive review of policy and legislation supporting injury prevention and control in Nepal has been completed. Therefore, we systematically searched for and critically reviewed existing policy and legislative documents.
Methods Using stakeholders from government, NGOs and academia we identified laws and policies that included provisions supporting injury prevention and first response in the home, at work, on the road or in schools. Included documents were critically reviewed to explore their status, scope, and alignment with evidence-based prevention interventions.
Results of 122 documents identified, 61 met the inclusion criteria. Findings indicated that most legislation was not informed by evidence. For example, only 1/22 interventions from the WHO SaveLIVES technical package for road safety was supported by legislation. There is a lack of consideration of capacity and infrastructure for legislative implementation/enforcement and hence a lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities. Few documents considered the health economic argument, or the financial investment necessary, for implementation.
Conclusion Nepal has legal frameworks that recognise different injuries in different settings, but they could be strengthened by including objectives clearly aimed at prevention and control.
Learning Outcomes The new federal system of government in Nepal, affords multiple opportunities to support injury prevention through legislation and enforcement.
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