As Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (India), Sharad Agarwal’s prime focus is on Reproductive health, Maternal and child health, Social Marketing, Social Franchising, Public-Private Partnerships, Financial and Marketing management. He shares his thoughts with Apresh Mishra of India CSR Network. Excerpts:
How did the journey begin?
Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust (HLFPPT) was set up in 1992 by HLL Lifecare Ltd (a Mini Ratna enterprises of Government of India) to support communities with health and development programmes. Initially, we started as a social marketing organisation. In 27 years of operations, HLFPPT has evolved into one of the largest non-profit organisations in public health.
We are now working at pan India level with our offices in 25 states and 3 UTs with over 60 active projects, supported by over 3000 employees and operate with funds to the tune of almost Rs. 200 crore.
For the past 27 years, we have been serving communities across India with health solutions and contributing towards Health System Strengthening through direct programme implementations, technical assistance, and capacity building. Today, HLFPPT has emerged as India’s leading organisation in Reproductive and Child Healthcare and a pioneer in promoting public health through Social Marketing and Social Franchising strategies.
We work through ‘Lifecycle Approach’, offering healthcare through all stages of life, with a keen focus on bringing every individual under the continuum care of HLFPPT. Consequently, it actively contributes towards the goals of the National Health Mission, NACP, FP 2020, UHC, MDGs and now, SDGs.
HLFPPT has been actively engaged in Social Marketing Initiatives. What are the products you promote and at what scale?
In order to make affordable reproductive health products accessible and available to all sections of society, HLFPPT has been conducting social marketing programmes in multiple states across India.
As a leader in Social Marketing, we have worked with NACO and the National Family Planning Programme in the past two decades for conducting Social Marketing of Condom as a means of family planning, prevention of unwanted pregnancies and protection against HIV/AIDS and other STDs. Our products are Rakshak & Josh Dotted Condoms enjoys good market share among all the SM brands across India.
We have also been promoting other contraceptives such as Contraceptive Injection (Safe-3), Female Condom (Velvet), IUCD (MCare CU 375, Emily), Standard Days Method (Ritumala); and Reproductive Health Products like Sanitary Napkin (Sakhi, Happy Days), Sanitary Napkin Vending Machine, Pregnancy Test Card (P-Test), Oral Rehydration Salt (JalJeevan) and Zinc Sulphate, etc, through social marketing.The programme is being implemented in 14 states—West Bengal, Maharashtra, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Jharkhand, Delhi, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Assam,and Uttar Pradesh.
How successful have you been with your Merrygold Hospital Network?
Merrygold Health Network (MGHN) is an innovative Social Franchising Programme in India started by HLFPPT in 2007. It offers essential health care services to the poorer sections of society. The programme is being implemented through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) mode in an effort to make health care services accessible for the underprivileged.
As part of the programme, USAID and SIFPSA help us for implementing the social franchising program in UP. The Merrygold network provides high quality maternal and child health services at affordable prices. It was initially launched in six districts in the first year. Subsequently, we scaled up to 40 districts in the second year.
The objective is to provide health care services at 50-60% of the private sector prices. The specialization on obstetrics and high volume will ensure that the hospital could offer sub-market prices and yet remain sustainable. Today we have around 650-700 hospitals which are franchised.
In order to build capacities of Health Service Providers on Maternal and Child Healthcare and for strengthening the quality of its training, HLFPPT has been utilizing simulation-based lifesaving tools by Laerdal Global Health (LGH) during its training initiatives. Norway-based LGH develops products and programmes aimed at helping save the lives of newborns and mothers in low-resource countries. We also facilitate the distribution of lifesaving tools.
How do you approach Healthcare Standards?
We offer services ranging from feasibility study to generating Gap analysis on NABH Standards for Medical/dental colleges, hospitals, single-speciality hospitals, multi-speciality hospitals, super-speciality hospitals, dental clinics, nursing homes, allopathic clinics, etc. The gap analysis is conducted on NABH objective elements/ processes, infrastructure, manpower, equipment and regulatory compliance.
What has been your strategy on adolescence health?
National Adolescent Health Programme (NAHP) was started in 2014 when India’s health ministry was about to start Rashtriya Kishor Swasthya Karyakram(RKSK). At the forum, HLFPPT was invited as a national partner and the purpose was to implement the RKSK atpan India level.
As we had experience working with menstrual health hygiene, the government invited us for the development of a training module. They also gave us two states UP and Bihar to train state-level trainers comprising peer educational training and peer counselling. It resulted in discussions percolating to the village level.
Subsequently, the National Health Mission selected HLFPPT as a National Training Partner (NTP) under RKSK for the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. The objective of the partnership is to expand the reach of the programme to all adolescents in the country, with special focus on those who are socially and economically marginalised.
Under the supervision of National Health Systems Resource Centre (NHSRC), HLFPPT has imparted district level training in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, and comprehensive training (including district and block levels) in Madhya Pradesh including TOT, ASHAs, ANMs, MPWs, LHVs, etc. The training cover six strategic areas of Nutrition, Sexual Reproductive Health, Non- communicable Diseases, Substance Misuse, Injuries and Violence and Mental Health.
HLFPPT has partnered with UNICEF for improving Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) in the state of Uttar Pradesh. Under this, HLFPPT has conducted a review of 49 Sanitary Napkin Production Units (SNPUs) of Panchayat Udyog in UP, including Lab Testing of Sanitary Napkins produced by SNPUs.
Considering safe disposal of sanitary napkins as an important influencer for improving menstrual hygiene, we have also conducted an assessment study of the functioning of cemented incinerator built within the premises of Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya in Mirzapur district (UP). Our team identified existing gaps and suggested a model for the low-cost incinerator.
We also offer Life Skills Education to the youth in schools and colleges with various partners. The sessions include imparting integral skills such as communication, decision-making, thinking, managing emotions, assertiveness, career guidance, self-esteem building, and relationship skills, as per WHO guidelines.
Apart from Health Services, what another areas of Work HLFPPT is doing?
We at HLFPPT have expanded the basket of services by adding Skill Development Training program and supporting various central Ministries programs like- DDUGKY, PMKVY, SIPDA, etc. We are implementing Elderly Care Projects through setting up Old Age Homes, Child Care under RBSK program through establishing Centre of Excellence and normal District Early Interventions Centres (DEICs) across the Nation. Under CSR partnership with Donor partners (DPs) like- NPCIL, PTC India, Suzlon, Apollo Foundation, Artermis Health Science Foundation, we are running Mobile Health Care Units with an objective to ensure Health Services at Remote as well as neglected areas in various States.
In addition to this, we are also undertaking Research and Development projects to plug the gaps by conducting Baseline surveys and impact studies. At present 70% of our revenues are being generated from Skill Development Programs and CSR projects. Therefore beside Health, we are hopeful that coming years would further broaden the horizon for HLFPPT and it will be able to make a meaningful impact and positive contributions to other areas of development and welfare.
Views are personal.
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