Nepal has made remarkable achievements in improving healthcare access to its citizens.
Nepali Minister of Health and Population Upendra Yadav said the country made a notable progress in achieving its targeted goals related to child and maternal health under the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The Minister made these statements at the Partners’ Forum 2018 organized by the Indian Ministry of Health in New Delhi on December 13, 2018.
“Nepal achieved the MDGs target in reducing child mortality, while it is nearly reaching the target on maternal mortality. Today, we continue to focus on the unfinished business of MDGs era,” reads the Minister’s statement.
On the occasion, the Minister said that forums of this kind helped Nepal a lot in achieving such goals.
“However, achieving the maternal and new born related SDGs targets with equity is a tremendous challenge for Nepal. In this noble endeavor, we have a lot of expectation from the partnership forum like this. For us, this is an opportunity to share experiences, learn from each other and galvanize the much-needed international support,” said Yadav.
The Minister went on to say that consistent efforts have been put to realize the constitutional provision of ensuring health care access as the fundamental right of every Nepali citizen.
“When it comes to child and maternal health, we have a robust Safe Motherhood and Reproductive Health Act. Maternal, new-born and child health services have been included in the basic health service package and have been provided through all levels of health facilities for free. This requires a partnership approach across all levels of government,” added Yadav.
He further informed that the country is looking forward for the ‘Health in All’ policy, which is being seen as an effective means to mobilize multi-sectoral action for health and to increase policy coherence.
“As part of the institutional set up of this holistic approach, we have constituted a multi-sectoral board under the Public Health Service Act. While the shift from MDGs to SDGs has allowed more opportunity for multi- sectoral approach, it also requires change in the mindset, innovative ways and governance not only at the government’s level, but also for civil society, the private sector and the research community,” said the Minister.
Yadav said the Nepal Government is committed to universal health coverage across the country.
“The ‘Aama Programme’, which provides incentive for safe delivery, the Social Health Insurance Programme and other free health care programmes are some examples of targeted interventions to address the financial barriers in accessing the health care for mothers and children,” stated the Minister.