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Health Min plans to tap potential of social marketing to scale up healthcare delivery

Our Bureau, New Delhi
Wednesday, November 20, 2013, 08:00 Hrs  [IST]

The Union Health Ministry plans to tap the possibilities of social marketing (SM) and social franchising (SF) as effective tools to reach out to the rural population and scale up healthcare delivery under its flagship programmes, said Anuradha Gupta, additional secretary of Health and mission director of National Rural Health Mission.

Addressing a press conference she said, with a view to garner the inputs from thought-leaders around the world and chalk out a concrete plan for India after deliberating on global best practices, a first of the kind global meet of health experts will be held in Kerala from December 3 to 5.

The three-day “Global Health Conference on Social Marketing and Franchising” is being organised by HLFPPT, a not-for-profit trust promoted by the mini-Ratna public sector enterprise HLL Lifecare Ltd, with the support of Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), HLL and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

“Social marketing and social franchising, the two emerging tools for healthcare programmes across the globe, have vast scope for India to reach out to the populations and bring a behavioural change. We are looking at this conference to learn about the global best practices and models,” Gupta said.

“So far, social marketing is very limited in India. But it has huge potential to accelerate the delivery of certain set of services for the universal health coverage. We can address challenges in communicable diseases, critical areas and emerging challenges in the areas of reproductive child health, diarrhoea, TB, malaria and lifestyle diseases in the developing countries through social marketing,” she said.

“We will operationalise the recommendations of this meeting for the flagship programmes of the NRHM,” she added, on the scope of imbibing the successful models of social marketing for national schemes.

Experts from 35 countries from Asia, Latin America, Caribbean, Middle East, North Africa and the sub-Saharan Region are taking part in the conference, first of the kind in the world. A number of prominent voluntary bodies, including Bill & and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Department for International Department (DFID), UNFPA and USAID are also supporting the event.

The main objectives of the conference are to showcase successful Public Private Partnership (PPP), Social Marketing(SM) and Social Franchising (SF) models, sensitization of policy-makers and prospective private sector partners, identification of best practices globally and encourage cross-learning, said Dr M Ayyappan, chairman, Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT).

“Social marketing, the best way to make behavioural change, has been limited only to contraceptives in our country. This can be extended beyond the health sector as effective tools for reaching out,” he added.

The high-profile conclave will include keynote and plenary lectures from world renowned experts on Social Marketing and Franchising and will provide an opportunity for in-depth discussions on Monitoring & Evaluation, Quality Assurance, Health Access, Health Financing and FP 2020 Satellite sessions, along with the avenues to participate in poster presentation.

Union Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Union Minister of State for HRD Shashi Tharoor, Health Secretary Keshav Desiraju, Additional Secretary in the department of AIDS control, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Aradhana Johri, Additional Secretary in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Mission Director of National Rural Health Mission (NRHM) Anuradha Gupta, Additional Secretary and Director General, CGHS in the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and Associate Member of the Institute of Company Secretaries of India  R.K Jain, and senior officials from the Union Ministry, NRHM state directors, officials of Health Departments in States etc will be among those to attend the meet.

The high-profile speakers include names like Philip D Harvey (president of DKT), Tewodros Meesse (director general of IPPF), Matt Boxshall (director of Health Markets, MSI, Kenya), Dr Jyoti Vajpayee (PSI), Marguerite Farrell (USAID), Dr Han Win Htat (PSI, Myanmar), Simon Berry (co-founder of Colalife), Rev Dr Tomi Thomas (DG, Catholic Health Association of India), Dr Samuel Mwenda (president of Churches Health Associations of Africa), Nancy Lee (University of Washington), Dr Juma Bharadia (Ministry of Health, Kenya), and Keith Joiner (professor, University of Arizona).

Sharad Agarwal, CEO of HLFPPT and other senior officials from the organisation were also present at the press conference.


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