Most Falling Related Deaths Could Be Avoided, Says Study

A mother and her infant died after falling off a cliff in Ward No. 8 in Bahrabise Municipality, in Sindhupalchowk district on Wednesday morning.
The 20-year-old Sapana Tamang was cutting grass with her one-and-a-half-year daughter Dolma Tamang when they fell off 100 metres below a cliff.
Similarly, 29-year-old Gita BK of Katari Municipality in Udaypur district also died after she fell off around 200 metres below a cliff Wednesday evening. BK was cutting grass in Maruwakhani Forest when the incident occurred.
Including the two cases, there were a total of six incidents of fall across the country which claimed seven lives on Wednesday alone, according to Nepal Police.
From Saturday to Wednesday, twelve people have died by fall across the country.
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), fall is the second leading cause of unintentional injury and deaths worldwide. The organisation estimates that some 684,000 individuals die from falls globally each year.
The organisation has stated that occupation, alcohol and substance use, socioeconomic factors, medications, underlying medical conditions such as loss of balance and poor vision (mostly in elderlies), and environmental factors are associated with the risk of fall injuries and deaths.
While there has been no official record of fall-related incidents, injuries or deaths in Nepal, some studies and researches have made an attempt to estimate the losses caused by falls.
A study “Fall Injuries in Nepal: A Countrywide Population-based Survey” published in several research sites in 2015 estimated that nearly 16,600 deaths are attributed to fall annually in Nepal and that about 14,130 deathsfrom fall injuries may have been avoided with appropriate access to surgical care.
Nevertheless, security personnel informed that falls can be prevented with proper interventions.
In case of Nepal, cases of fall increases during the monsoon period. The rain makes the roads in the Hill and Himalayan regions slippery, because of which there are high risks of fall incidents.
“There are dirt roads in the higher geographical regions of Nepal. Such roads get slippery during monsoon which also leads to fall incidents. Children and elderly are at high risk of fall injuries and deaths,” said Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Basanta Bahadur Kunwar, central police spokesperson.
Similarly, SSP Kunwar informed that lack of safety during work at construction sites and reaching to sloppy places to cut grass or to collect timber in villages have also been leading causes of fall in Nepal.
On Wednesday, Shyam Sundar Chaudhary, 26, also died of fall. He was working on an under-construction bridge at Phaktanglung Rural Municipality in Taplegunj district when he slipped and fell off.
Security personnel suggest local levels to pave the roads, fence off or restrict access to dangerous areas and ensure safe scaffolding for those working at elevated levels. Similarly, proper surveillance of children by parents alongside helping elders in getting them from one place to another can go a long way to reducing the cases of fall.
“Falls are preventable. Government must establish proper infrastructure while public must not underestimate the risks while venturing out in dangerous places,” said SSP Kunwar.