We identified several obstacles in the procurement capacity of local health centers related to health commodities in Nepal. These were mostly related to unfriendly policy, politics, finances, communication issues, remoteness, and disasters imposing the most significant concern to access to health care in rural and remote areas of Nepal.
The patient’s care may be delayed and in most cases, the patient may not receive the recommended treatment at all due to a shortage of medications in their local health centers.
People living in rural areas of our country travel a long distance to access healthcare services because of geographical challenges and transportation services. However, when such health facilities have problems of shortages of essential medicines, patients are obliged to travel to city hospitals for minor injuries or illness. This can be a significant burden in terms of both time and money, and in most times the financial costs deter many people to seek immediate care they need following an illness. Moreover, the lack of reliable public transportation in remote areas are a barrier to timely care. As a consequence, patients often end up in severe complication being treated in expensive private providers in the city which impose a tremendous economic burden to not only an individual but also to the entire family members.
Hence, the availability of affordable and effective drugs are, therefore, one of the most visible indicators of the quality of health services. That being so, to improve access to essential medicines in the government health facilities in Nepal, Mountain Heart Nepal adopted an “International and national stakeholder’s strategies.” Thanks to our partnership with Direct Relief, which has allowed us to procure the vast majority of medications free of cost. The active local distribution of these medications by Mountain Heart Nepal has ensured health services to function adequately and extended access to FREE modern medicines across rural and remote areas.
Through a dedicated stock control part-time employee, we are able to maintain incoming and outgoing notes of our stocks available in our warehouse. A copy of our online database of stocktaking and rolling inventory can be assessed online. The medication inventory is controlled by our efficient Re-order level system.
Any non-profit public health organizations and government health facilities can request for the available medications to prescribe free of cost to the public. An endorsed letter from the Ministry of Health/Zonal/District Hospital/Local Government, supporting documents (medication need, medication list/medical equipment along with quantity and reporting mechanism) should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org along with a copy of medical license of the prescribing doctor to receive the medical supplies that we hold.