Rural and hard-to-reach areas, as well as specific population sub-groups, still face numerous challenges accessing quality health products and services in Nepal. SHOPS Plus supports the Nepal CRS Company (CRS), a pioneer social marketing organization that operates in all 75 districts of the country, to increase healthcare access for rural and other key populations through health education, a trained network of over 3,400 private outlets, and socially marketed key health products. SHOPS Plus is building the capacity and long-term sustainability of CRS with targeted technical assistance as it implements the USAID-funded Ghar Ghar Maa Swasthya project.
Nepal has made considerable progress in improving the health status of its population over the past two decades. However, there is still work to be done. Health outcomes are notably worse in rural and hard-to-reach areas. According to the most recent Nepal Demographic Health Survey in 2016, only 49 percent of rural married women were using any method of contraception compared to 55 percent of urban married women. In rural areas, the under-five mortality rate is 55 deaths per 1,000 live births, compared to 39 deaths per 1,000 live births in urban areas.
SHOPS Plus aims to improve health outcomes by supporting CRS to become a technically stronger, more efficient, and sustainable provider of priority health products and services. This includes working closely with CRS to achieve greater sustainability in their product distribution while building their capacity to effectively implement behavior change communication, provider quality improvement, and social mobilization activities across Nepal. As a part of this process, SHOPS Plus is supporting CRS as it transitions to a new two-level structure to strengthen its long-term financial viability. As the USAID-funded GGMS project ends in 2021, the new structure enables CRS to strengthen undertake its commercial sales activities and retain its tax exempt status to solicit funds for charitable activities. Lastly, SHOPS Plus works with CRS to perform research studies that provide key data for decision-making, equipping CRS with the information needed to improve its activities.
Highlights from program activities from December 2016 through April 2020:
- Health Product Distribution Coverage Monitoring Survey in Rural Areas of Nepal
- Nepal D’Zire Condom Reach and Recall Survey
- Nepal Hot Spot Mapping
- Nepal Knowledge, Attitudes, and Practices Survey
- ORS and Zinc Co-Pack Launch in Nepal
- Quality of Family Planning Services at Sangini Network Pharmacies in Nepal
- Sources for Sick Child Care in Nepal
- Sources of Family Planning in Nepal