Country of Operation
- Marie Stopes InternationalNot-for-profit
- Government of BangladeshGovernment
SummaryThe Blue Star Programme (BSP), a social franchise networking private sector providers, was established in Bangladesh by the Social Marketing Company (SMC) in June 1998 in order to improve access to quality health care services.
The purpose of this program is to address the unmet need of the target population by improving quality, awareness, accessibility and affordability of priority public health services through the private health providers.
The future goals include:
-Develop a real time reporting system using mobile technology
-Launch new products including sanitary napkins, electrolyte drink and EC
-Integrate Integrated management of childhood illness (IMCI) and TB-DOTs into selected Blue Star franchises
Key program components
Among the services provided by Blue Star are oral contraceptives, condoms, injectables, Copper T, emergency contraceptive pills, clean delivery kits, TB referrals, diarrheal disease treatment, and vitamin distribution. Injectable contraceptives are given along with other reproductive health services. Next to the combined oral pill, injectable is the most popular temporary contraceptive method in Bangladesh among eligible couples; according to Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey (BDHS) 2007, 7% of the eligible couples are using injectable contraceptives compared to 2.6% in 1991. To become a Blue Star provider, a private health practitioner needs to meet the selection criteria, sign a partnership agreement that states they will deliver a defined package of services, attend a training course, agree to keep detailed records and send reports to SMC. The programme initially started with the graduate providers. Since 2000, it has expanded to include non-graduate medical practitioners (NGMP) as well. As of June 2010, around 150 graduate doctors and 3,220 non-graduate medical practitioners were dispensing injectable contraceptive under the Blue Star Programme. SMC provides comprehensive training, commodity supply, promotional support supervision & monitoring to these Blue Star Providers. SMC launched its over-branded injectable "SOMA-JECT" in March 2003. One vial of SOMA-JECT contains 150 mg of depo-medroxy progesterone acetate (DMPA), a chemical similar to the natural progesterone. Each vial of SOMA-JECT injectable is packaged in an outer carton with SOMA-JECT brand name. Each carton or dispenser contains 25 such packages and equal number of disposable syringe and cotton balls. Currently the price to providers is Tk. 28 to Tk. 30 per vial, and MRP is Tk. 35 each vial. SMC's SOMA-JECT brand is positioned as high-quality product available through specially trained Blue Star providers in urban, semi urban area and rural area for low & middle income families. Since FY 1999, the first full year of injectable marketing, the number of administration has grown from 8,500 to about one million in 2009. The growth has come from both the increasing number of administration/provider as well as the expansion of the network. People served: 1,236,747 (As of 2012)