KATHMANDU, June 28: Medication for Nepal, (MFN), an innovative volunteer-run health initiative started by Nepali social entrepreneur Sumana Shrestha, has won accolades at the 2016 Global Entrepreneurship Summit.
In a speech, US President Barak Obama also extolled medication efforts of the program participants from around the globe.
Since Shrestha began MFN during the height of the unofficial blockade on the Nepal/India border 8 months ago, more than 9.5 tons of life-saving drugs have been delivered to 15 districts in Nepal, effectively saving thousands of lives, especially the poorest Nepalese citizens.
MFN utilizes an innovative, technology-based peer-to-peer network that captures transparent data sets about medicine shortages in remote areas of Nepal, and delivers donated medication through the coordination with numerous organizations, volunteers, and district health communities.
"The strength of MFN lies in the use of technology to be transparent and reduce the cost of service delivery, in addition to a method of social innovation that takes an inclusive approach to engage people to help," Sumana Shrestha said in a statement.
MFN was one of the eight participants from Nepal (700 out of 7000 start ups that applied from around the globe) to participate in the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) hosted by President Obama, the only participant from Nepal (one of the 36 participants around the globe) to participate in the GES spark pitch competition, and one of the 150 out of 700 start ups that were selected to participate in GES+.
In addition to an honorable mention by Obama, Sumana Shrestha was praised by FUBU founder and 2015 Presidential Ambassador for Global Entrepreneurship Daymond John in a blog published on the White House website.
"I'm excited to meet people like Sumana Shrestha, who started Medication for Nepal, an organization that uses technology to tackle inefficiencies and high health care costs, ensuring medical access for the most vulnerable populations in her country," said John.
Stanford University also showed support by tweeting their interview with Shrestha. As MFN looks toward the future, we look forward to continue innovation through a micropayments system set up in the peer-to-peer network, and creating lasting connections between marginalized communities and individuals in the cities to strengthen the institutions.