While there have been significant advancements in reducing child mortality, 5.9 million children under 5 years of age still die each year—nearly 1 million of them on their first day of life. Pneumonia, diarrhea, and malaria account for the vast majority of deaths among children under 5. These three childhood illnesses, along with newborn mortality, constitute 75 percent of the mortality rate for this age group.
The complications and death caused by these illnesses can be averted by known, affordable treatments such antibiotics, oral rehydration solutions, and zinc tablets for diarrhea management, and anti-malarials. Additionally, research has shown that ORS and zinc together have the capacity to avert more than 20 percent of worldwide childhood deaths.
Globally, a significant proportion of caregivers use the private sector for treatment of childhood illnesses such as diarrhea, including up to 70 percent in Pakistan and 50 percent in Uganda.
SHOPS Plus contributes to reducing childhood mortality and illness under the ending preventable child and maternal deaths initiative through a multi-faceted, integrated approach to saving children’s lives. In line with the Acting on the Call agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals for reducing child mortality, the project focuses on improving the equity and quality of child health services across the entire health system by catalyzing public-private sector engagement.
SHOPS Plus programs are based on four broad strategies to increase use of child health commodities:
Policy: Create an environment supportive of treatment protocols, recognizing the role of the private sector.
Supply: Improve access to affordable and high-quality comodities, and when feasible and appropriate, ensure sustainability by working with local manufacturers and importers.
Caregiver demand: Inform caregivers when to seek treatment through mass media campaigns, community health days, and more.
Provider demand: Enhance knowledge and skills of providers to promote and deliver appropriate treatment and care through training and supportive supervision.
Our partners include international and local R&D and generic drug manufacturers, country-based distributors, advertising agencies, social marketing organizations, and professional associations.
Examples of our work
In Nigeria, SHOPS Plus partners with local pharmaceutical companies and distributors to ensure widespread distribution of zinc and low osmolarity ORS through proprietary patent medicine vendors in Benue and Kebbi states. To increase awareness of correct diarrhea treatment, the project implements a mass media campaign in two languages via radio using adapted behavior change communication materials. The campaign targets community and faith-based organizations and local authorities.
In Haiti, SHOPS Plus implements a comprehensive social marketing program focused on child health, family planning, and household water treatment. The program includes brand creation, demand generation, and distribution to retail outlets.