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Nepal Signs ‘Delhi Declaration’ to Ensure Improved Medical Access

Owing to the region’s excessive spending on health care, 65 million people face poverty


Nepal Signs ‘Delhi Declaration’ to Ensure Improved Medical Access

Nepal is among the 11 World Health Organization South-Asian Region member countries who have pledged to ensure provision of affordable and accessible medical products.

This includes the provision of medicines, vaccines, diagnostics and medical devices to people within the region and beyond.

To further this cause, Nepal along with other member countries’ representatives signed the ‘Delhi Declaration’ to enhance provision of essential medical products.


“Access to safe, effective and affordable medical products is vital to prevent sufferings and impoverishment resulting from high out-of-pocket expenses on healthcare  by families, especially the poor,” said Dr. Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Region.

Owing to a major chunk of the region’s excessive spending on health care, 65 million people fall below the poverty line in the WHO South-East Asia Region.

Improving access to essential medicines has been an important WHO goal since 2014. However, it still remains a challenge to ensure provision of the right medical products at the right time.

The Delhi Declaration seeks to address this challenge by doing the following:

  • Allocation of adequate financial resources by member countries
  • Reduction of out-of-pocket payment from families on essential medicines
  • Strengthening of national policies, regulation, supply chain management
  • Enhancing the capacity of intellectual property and trade for public health
  • Improvement of access to medicines and vaccines

71st Regional Committee Session
Member countries pledged to build an effective, transparent and engaging procedure for price negotiation within the region and pooled procurement to facilitate access and affordability of essential products for life-threatening and rare diseases, while signing the declaration.

Besides this, they will also focus on:

  • Strengthening regulatory cooperation and collaboration to enhance availability, quality and safety of essential medical products through South-East Asia’s regulatory network
  • Improving accessibility and affordability within the region and beyond, since the region is emerging as a major producer of essential products especially generic medicines
  • Developing an essential product list, especially essential diagnostics list to provide enhanced patient care, affordable quality tests,
  • Increasing the potential of disease diagnostics and national laboratories during outbreaks
  • Usage of more appropriate antibiotics
  • Innovation and investment in research and development for neglected diseases and affordable medicines

Nepal has been working hard to change its health care scenario and this evident through its recent success of curbing various diseases including rubella. Hopefully, the country will achieve this new goal that it has set through the Delhi Declaration.

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September 7, 2018 |

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