A large majority of the health facilities in urban areas of Nepal are privately owned. Some of these are providing immunization services and hence need to be considered in the governments' effort to achieve universal coverage. The capacity of services and quality of the services provided by private sectors was largely undocumented. An assessment of private sector immunization service delivery was conducted by the Family Welfare Division with technical support from RAVIN project in Kathmandu valley (Kathmandu, Lalitpur and Bhaktapur districts) to map the distribution of facilities and to identify challenges and bottlenecks to routine immunization equity in preparation for the introduction of the rotavirus vaccine.
This assessment employed a cross-sectional descriptive design with a mixed approach (both quantitative and qualitative data collection). A list of private health facilities was screened to identify those providing immunization services. Health workers providing immunization services as well as hospital administration and verification by reviewing the available immunization records, observation of immunization sessions and client exit interviews.
Out of 52 private health facilities in Kathmandu Valley, eleven facilities were providing only routine immunization, 13 were providing only non-routine vaccines, and 28 were providing both routine and non-routine vaccines. In total, 39 facilities provided routine immunization services.
Private health facilities are complementing the government efforts to increase the access and utilization of immunization services; however, they were in small numbers compared to the numbers registered in government. Moreover, some of the private health facilities are providing only non-routine vaccines.