Needed supplies positively impacting the Nepal population

Ram Prasad Poudel distributes family planning supplies at the sub-health post in Khokana, a village near the Nepalese capital of Kathmandu. With improvements in the public health logistics system, family planning products are now widely available.

Ram Prasad Poudel, a senior auxiliary health worker, sees patients and dispenses drugs at the sub-health post in the village of Khokana. A 15-year veteran of Nepal’s public health sector, Poudel has witnessed the changes in family planning services first-hand.

Ten years ago, he recalls, contraceptives were not readily available like they are now. The health post would frequently run out of supplies and he would have to send people home empty-handed.

Nowadays, through improved logistics management, health posts receive all the supplies they need from the district store; as a result, people can get their preferred family planning method from the local health facility or through a female community health worker.

Poudel’s experience is echoed in over 4,000 service delivery sites throughout the country, from the Himalayas to the plains of the Terai region. Year-round availability of contraceptives has reached more than 95 percent, up from 45 percent in 1995. Making family planning supplies available to those who need them has helped reduce Nepal’s total fertility rate from 4.6 in 1996 to 2.6 in 2011; the increased use of contraceptives also supports Nepal’s Millennium Development Goal of improving maternal health.