A disproportionate number of Nepalese suffer head and spine injuries resulting from falls. Accidents occur with unreported regularity among the population, with porters slipping off precipitous trails, and women and children in particular injured while collecting tree fodder or following livestock into cliffsides.
Over the last decade, there has been a sharp rise in spinal trauma from highway accidents. Injuries are also on the rise from construction and industrial activity, from public and domestic violence, as well as with the increase in adventure sports.
In a country with poor public health and medical services for the population at large, spinal injury victims have little access to care and their families do what they can to cope in villages and accident sites. The evacuation of victims, when it does take place, is usually a long and jolting transport to hospital, which tends to add to the damage already done to the spine.