Field Level Promotional Activities
Provider Group Detailing Sessions (GDS)
Group Detailing Sessions or GDS are educational meetings with non formal health providers conducted by SMC Sales Officers/Executives to promote SMC’s goals, products and programs. Particular attention is given to highlighting the role of community level providers in promoting birth spacing, contraceptive methods, ORS, child health and nutrition and safe delivery. In addition providers are encouraged to be proactive in referring clients seeking long acting contraceptive methods and suspected TB cases for proper diagnosis and treatment to nearby public and private health facilities.
Each session is approximately of two hour duration and attended by non graduate medical practitioners from the local community such as Rural Medical Practitioners, Palli Chikitshoks Pharmacy owners. Local influencers like Madrassah heads, imams and school teachers are also invited to attend the sessions. Participants are provided with informational materials, GDS bags and light refreshments. Around 10,000 health providers are reached through these meetings in a year.
Meetings with local NGOs are conducted regularly at the field level by the Sales Promotion Officers/Executives to help promote SMC products to the community and increase sales through the NGO workers. Participants at the meeting generally include service providers, paramedics, counselor, lab technician and the NGO Clinic Manager. SMC Area Manager or the Area Executive also attends the meetings. In addition to contraceptives and ORS which are the major sellers, greater attention is being placed now in expanding the sales and use of micro nutrient powder Monimix and the Safe Delivery Kits through this distribution channel. The meetings contribute towards building capacity of local level NGOs and improving their financial sustainability through margins earned from sales of SMC products.
Community Sales Agents
Another model that SMC is implementing in the MIH community Mobilization program areas is the use of female community sales agents to supply SMC commodities and earn commission on the sales. The sales agent is a volunteer from the community with a pre defined catchment area where she visits the households regularly and sells SMC contraceptives (condoms, emergency contraceptives and Progestin only pills), ORS, sanitary napkins, micro nutrient powder, Zinc and other products supplied by SMC and earns a margin on sales. If viable, this will enable to create a sustainable delivery source and also generate income for women in the community.
Meetings with Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA)
The Sales Promotion Officers/Executive also regularly organizes and co-facilitates meetings with the TBAs in the community particularly in rural areas where overall access and road communication is relatively poor. The major purpose of these meetings is to familiarize skilled birth attendants and their assistants, as well as the traditional birth attendants with SMC’s safe delivery kit titled Safety Kit and highlight the necessity of using the contents of these kits to minimize the risk of contracting life threatening infection among newborn and the mother during home deliveries. The meetings also emphasize the importance of having deliveries at the facilities and that the kits must only be used for home deliveries in case facility level delivery is not possible for unavoidable reasons. The Safety Kits are also sold during the meetings to ensure their availability if and when needed. The meeting also encourages the TBAs to promote micronutrient powder among mothers in the community to ensure adequate nutrition among children 6 months to 2 years of age.
Seminars with Graduate Doctors
Seminars with graduate (MBBS) doctors are conducted regularly by the Sales Promotion Officer/ Executive to highlight major health issues surrounding women and children in the communities and the role of providers in being proactive in tackling these issues through proper counseling and management. These seminars include presentations from SMC Area Managers to introduce SMC and its role in helping people live healthier lives through family planning and improved health practices. Prominent health providers are generally invited to be the Chief Guest or resource persons. These are generally conducted at the Upazilla Health Complex, Sadar Hospitals and Medical College Hospitals. Each seminar is usually of two hour duration.