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FHI 360 engages private sector to improve health in India and Nepal

November 01, 2012 —

FHI 360’s work on diarrhea alleviation in India and on social marketing in Nepal both focus on working with the private sector to address urgent health needs.

The Indian states of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh have a high incidence of diarrhea among children, which impacts both health and child survival. Many families in the area seek treatment at private, often informal, health facilities. The FHI 360 program focuses on educating these health providers and mothers about zinc and oral rehydration therapy (ORS) as the first-line treatment for diarrhea. The program is managed by FHI 360 subsidiary FHI Solutions in partnership with the Micronutrient Initiative and the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The outreach includes explaining how to use zinc and ORS, providing educational posters and videos and ensuring that medical practitioners and rural drug shops are stocking these treatments. FHI Solutions also ensures continuous supply of zinc and ORS to rural areas by engaging the pharmaceutical industry in a partnership aimed at creating a sustainable market.

In Nepal, FHI 360 is working with the Nepal CRS Company (CRS), a social marketing firm, to strengthen the marketing and distribution of health and family planning products in rural and hard-to-reach areas of Nepal through the private sector.

As part of this USAID-funded initiative, FHI 360 and CRS are working with the government of Nepal to increase awareness of and access to family planning, maternal and child health, and HIV/AIDS/STI prevention products and services. The initiative will also build CRS’s capacity to create behavior change communications activities to foster better health throughout Nepal. FHI 360 provides technical support to CRS in two major areas: improving the CRS's institutional sustainability and increasing the availability and accessibility of health products in hard-to-reach rural areas.

This article first appeared in GBCHealth Insights November 2012.