The Nepal NCDI Poverty Commission, led by Co-Chairs Dr. Senendra Raj Upreti, Secretary at the Nepal Ministry of Health, and Dr. Bhagawan Koirala from Tribhuvan University, is the first group in Nepal that brings experts from diverse disease specialties together to address NCDIs and equity. Commissioners represent a range of fields — medicine, surgery, population epidemiology, economics, and journalism — and a variety of institutions within Nepal — the Ministry of Health, the National Health Research Council, Kathmandu Medical College, Tribhuvan University, Harvard University, University of Washington, Possible Health, and key hospitals and specialty cardiovascular and cancer centers.  The Commission held its first meeting in November 2016 and reconvened for a second time in February 2017, both in Kathmandu.

Throughout 2017 and early 2018, the commission conducted a cost analysis and impact assessment of two important innovations for delivering NCDI services to the poor:

  • A national program that guarantees cardiac surgery, free of charge, for all children with congenital and rheumatic heart disease; and

  • A country-wide initiative providing all patients below the poverty line with government subsidized medical support for 9 major NCDs.

On June 6, 2019, the Nepal NCDI Poverty Commission met to conduct a mid-term review of Phase II activities, including an in-depth analysis on childhood NCDIs and the integration science facility assessment.

Commission Co-Chairs


Senendra Raj Upreti (MBBS, MPH) is the secretary of the ministry of health of Nepal Government. Dr. Upreti has completed M.B.B.S from IOM, TU in 1989 and M.P.H. from Mahidol University, Thailand in 1994.  He has more than three decades of experience of working in the health sector of Nepal.  Before being appointed as the secretary on 15th July, 2016, he worked for 18 months as the Director General in the department of Health Services (DoHS) where his main responsibility was to Coordinate plan, implement, monitor and evaluate the activities of DoHS. Previously, he was the director in the departments of epidemiology, family health and child health Divisions where he performed as the chief of respective programs. He has worked as the medical officer/Senior medical officer/ District Health Officer and medical superintendent in different districts/ zonal and regional hospitals for about one and half decade.    

Bhagawan Koirala (MD, MS) introduced open heart surgery in Nepal and led the establishment of Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center (SGNHC) in Kathmandu. Dr. Koirala did fellowship in cardiac surgery at Tufts University's Bay State Medical Center in Massachusetts and later at the Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, Canada. He also developed a cost-subsidy program for the treatment of the poor, children, and elderly at SGNHC. He has published more than 30 original research papers in national and international journals. He has been a recipient of several medal and awards, including the President's award -- Suprawal Janasewa Shree III. Since 2012 has been a Fellow of American College of Cardiology (FACC) and member of Society of thoracic surgeons (STS) since 2015. He has held position of Executive Director of SGNHC, Manmohan Cardiothoracic Center and TU Teaching Hospital. He also served as Executive Vice-Chair of Health Profession Education Commission, formed by the government of Nepal to draft an HPE bill. Dr. Koirala is currently Professor of Surgery and Chief, Department of Cardiothoracic and Vascular Surgery, Institute of Medicine, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu.


Krishna K Aryal (MPH) - Abt Associates

Shiva Raj Adhikari (MA, PhD) - Associate Professor of Health Economics, Tribhuvan University

Meghnath Dhimal - Nepal Health Research Council

SP Kalaunee (MA, PhD) - Executive Director, Possible Health

Khem B Karki (MBBS, MPH) Member Secretary, Nepal Health Research Council

Arjun Karki (MD) - Pulmonary and Critical Care, Grande International Hospital

Biraj Karmacharya (MBBS, MSc, PhD) - Chief, Department of Community Relations, Kathmandu University Hospital;

Arpana Kalaunee - Nepal Health Research Council

Rajendra Koju (MD) - Associate Dean and Administrative Director, Kathmandu University School of Medical Sciences

Anjani Kumar Jha (MD) - Professor & Head, Department of Radiation Oncology, B P Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital

Suresh Mehata - Ipas Nepal

Shiva Raj Mishra - Nepal Development Society

Natalia Oli - Kathmandu Medical College

Vijay Kumar Pandey - Senior Journalist

Sanjib Kumar Sharma (MD, FISN) - Professor of Medicine, B P Koirala Memorial Cancer Hospital

Dinesh Neupane (MPH) - Nepal Development Society

Saroj Prasad Ojha (MD) - Professor & Head, Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Tribhuvan University

Achyut Raj Pandey - Research Officer, Research Section, Nepal Health Research Council

Bhaskar Raj Pant (MD) - Assistant Director, Joint Replacement & Sports Medicine, Grande International Hospital

Pravin Paudel - HERD International

Anant Raut (MSc) - Electronic Health Data Expert, Possible Health

Deewakar Sharma (MD) - Senior Consultant Cardiologist, Shahid Gangalal National Heart Center

Archana Shrestha (MPH, PhD) - Post-Doctoral Fellow, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

Abha Shrestha (MBBS, MD) - Kathmandu University Hospital

Bhola Shrestha (MD) - Chief, Curative Medicine, Ministry of Health, Nepal

Dan Schwarz (MD, MPH) - Possible Health

Abhinav Vaidya (MBBS, MD, PhD) - Associate Professor, Kathmandu Medical University