Briefing Paper

Ensuring the Availability and Access to Essential Drugs in Primary Health Care Facilities in Delta State: Challenges and Way Forward

Some of the key challenges of primary health care delivery, especially in isolated rural areas, is the provision of equitable access to essential medical products, vaccines and technologies of assured quality, safety, efficacy and cost-effectiveness and their scientifically sound and cost-effective use. The availability of essential drugs is of major importance, because once these are not available – rural inhabitants do not care to visit primary health centres. Essential drugs play a crucial role in many aspects of health care. Should it be available, affordable, of good quality and properly used, drugs can offer a simple, cost-effective answer to many health problems such as reducing the burden of excess mortality and disability by increasing access to essential drugs; reducing risk factors for human health by monitoring the emergence of anti-infective drug resistance, and creating safer environments for drug prescription, distribution, and consumption. It is essential for the Delta State Government to take a decisive action on strategies to improve the provision of essential drugs in primary health facilities located in rural areas.