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Background: Orphans are a special group of children who are more vulnerable to developing a mental health problem such as depression. Lack of care and support during the grieving process and inadequate environment without parents may lead to depression in orphans. Depression is an important public health problem and a serious issue that affects almost half of the orphans. Objective: The study aimed to explore the status of depression among the orphans in Nepal. Methods: The literature review was done based on the information obtained from the grey literature and the published articles in national and international journals through web search in Pubmed and Google scholar. Results: The review identified orphans as a susceptible group of children who are prone to developing mental health problems. In Nepal, more than one million children are orphans and the prevalence of children with one or both parents dead is 4.3%. Depression is one of the commonest mental health problems among the orphans accounting for almost half of the orphans and almost double than the population of general children. Though the government of Nepal established childcare homes to provide care, support, protection and other needs to the orphans or a vulnerable group of children but only 0.14% of children are living in 585 childcare homes of 45 districts of Nepal. Conclusion: The adversity of losing parents at the tender age among orphans may lead them to develop depression. Though a huge number of orphans are tackling with various health problems, yet there are no special health and mental health policies that address the health of the orphans and the abandoned children in Nepal. The government and the supporting partners play a pivotal role in improving the mental health status of the orphans by reducing the barriers and improving their quality of life.
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School of Health Science, Mae Fah Luang University. All rights reserved.
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