Strategies to Involve Private Sector

Non-government Organizations

The Government of UP will encourage non-government organizations to implement innovative reproductive health programmes. Ability to mobilize and involve communities in development programmes is the major strength of non-government organizations. UP has several hundred non-government organizations. By providing financial and material resources and capacity-building opportunities to NGOs, community-based counselling and service delivery can be expanded rapidly to underserved rural areas and urban slums. The Society for Innovations in Family Planning Services Agency (SIFPSA) has supported several innovative NGO projects in the past five years and many of these NGOs have made impressive contributions to the RCH programme.

  • NGOs not working in reproductive and child health programmes will be encouraged and provided with the resources to introduce RCH services in their programmes
  • NGOs that have successfully implemented innovative projects will be recognized and rewarded
  • NGOs will be linked to public sector service delivery systems to make the referral system more effective and to improve the quality of services
  • The supply system will be streamlined so that NGOs get an uninterrupted supply of contraceptives
  • Regular training programmes will be conducted and new strategies will be evolved in partnership with NGOs to sustain the activities of NGOs

Family life education (FLE) will be provided to adolescent boys and girls. Family life education will cover planning for one's future and the importance of education, gender roles and responsible parenthood. Parents will be involved in some of the sessions to encourage positive parent-child communication.

UP has 20,311 primary cooperative societies with 22.48 million members spread over sectors as diverse as agriculture, credit, handloom, dairy and sugarcane. Being economic platforms, with organizational strengths in rural areas and good understanding of rural markets, these cooperatives offer an opportunity for involving large networks of volunteers in the promotion of family planning and RCH services.

  • Milk cooperatives will be used for service delivery using the model developed by SIFPSA. Their excellent logistics would be utilized for promoting referrals
  • Primary agriculture credit societies will be used as depots for both free and subsidized brands of contraceptives and as points for promoting RCH services
Organized Sector

Liberalization of the economy with a human face requires corporate sector involvement in social development. As part of SIFPSA facilitated initiatives, individual industrial units and organized chambers of commerce have started providing RCH services to employees and their families and the community around them. These efforts by the corporate sector will be further expanded and strengthened.

  • Large industrial units in both the private and public sectors will be involved in the delivery of RCH services. These industrial units have management strengths and excellent captive hospital facilities that could be used to provide clinical services to the rural and urban communities
  • Networks like railways and post offices with large rural outreach and a strong hospital set-up would be utilized for carrying messages on various RCH themes to remote areas. Because of their influence and acceptability in village communities, postmen will be trained to promote the small family norm and disseminate information
  • Chambers of commerce and industry such as FICCI, PHD and their affiliates would be requested to manage and implement RCH projects for the unorganized sector workers and small-scale industry workers
Indigenous System of Medical Practitioners

UP has nearly 40,000 registered indigenous system of medical (ISM) practitioners belonging to the Ayurvedic, Unani and Homeopathic schools of medicine. There are perhaps an equal number of non-registered medical practitioners. A large proportion of rural population seeks health services from ISM practitioners because of their easy access and low cost. The potential of ISM practitioners to provide family planning services is immense.

  • ISM practitioners, who are the first point of contact for health care in rural areas, will be trained to provide counselling and services related to family planning through district level training projects.
  • They would be promoted as trained family planning counsellors and used as depots for free and priced oral contraceptives, condoms and other reproductive health products.
Private Health Sector

Given the huge task of providing services to a large number of eligible couples every year to reach replacement-level fertility, the public health sector alone will not be able to cater to the needs of all. Partnership with the private sector is essential, particularly to provide quality clinical services. In UP, the private health sector is in its early stages of development. Government will initiate steps to expand the private health sector and also to utilize the facilities in existing health institutions.

  • Private health institutions, meeting quality standards to provide sterilization and IUCD services, will be identified in each district
  • Private medical practitioners will be trained in providing quality family planning services
  • Wide publicity will be given to recognized institutions, and people will be encouraged to utilize services at these institutions
  • For private recognized health institutions, further support will be extended in the form of supply of equipment and other resources
Contraceptive Marketing

Use of spacing methods in the state is very low. Of the total number of currently married women in reproductive age, only 6.4 percent use spacing methods. A large proportion of users of spacing methods depend on the private sector for fully priced or subsidized products. The dependence on the commercial sector has been gradually increasing. In 1992-93, 52 percent of oral contraceptive users depended on the private sector. This has increased to 74 percent in 1998-99. Similarly, more than 80 percent of condoms users are dependent on the commercial sector for supplies. Given this, contraceptive marketing has to play a major role in promoting the use of spacing methods, particularly condoms and oral contraceptives.

The contraceptive marketing project launched three years ago to improve the sales of condoms in small towns and Category A villages in 28 districts of UP has achieved significant results. The new contraceptive marketing project launched in April 2000 will cover 25 percent of the villages up to D category in rural UP over the next three years. This will substantially increase the access to and use of condoms and oral contraceptives in rural UP.

  • Innovative marketing approaches will be tried out to refine marketing strategies and to sustain marketing efforts
  • NGOs, cooperatives, and the organized sectors will be encouraged to introduce the element of social marketing in their projects
  • Linkages will be established with trained ISM practitioners to sell oral contraceptives and condoms
  • Marketing of other products like ORS packets, disposable delivery kits, vitamin A solution, and IFA tablets will be encouraged

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