Green Star Program (GSP)

Green Star Program: An innovative approach to engage non-graduate health providers in public health program

Green Star Providers (GSPs) are non-graduate health care providers who are providing over-the-counter health and family planning information and services to the community people. The network of GSP includes pharmacists, drug sellers, and non-graduate health care providers. Based on the location of the outlets they are often in the primary point of contact at the community level for minor ailments, such as diarrhea, cough, fever, weakness, helminthiasis etc. They also counsel on family planning and nutrition: Due to lack of knowledge and necessary training these providers were not able to counsel properly. The program is branded as Green Star Program (GSP) in 2018 under USAID Marketing Innovations for Sustainable Health Development (MISHD), aiming to engage them to offer follow-up dose injectable contraceptive services and counsel caregivers of under 5 children on nutrition. The program has been implemented through the approval from Director General of Family Planning (DGFP).

Green Star providers are selected based on certain criteria that includes minimum SSC level education, having own pharmacy & attached with separate space for counseling & service, valid drug license, at least two years of practicing experience with adequate female & child clients flow and have willingness to work with SMC. SMC provides 2 days long basic training to the Green Star providers use a comprehensive training curriculum on specific public health issues including injectable contraceptives, micronutrient powder, TB, safe delivery, use of zinc and rational use of drugs etc. There is also provision of refresher training where providers practice on injectable (SOMA-JECT) and trainer hold leading discussion for solving different problems faced by the providers during service delivery at their facilities. During outlet visit by SMC personnel mostly PO-TSD, providers also get onsite coaching and technical assistance to enhance their knowledge and skills. Different materials including signage, sticker and poster are being used to brand their pharmacies as a service delivery point named Green Star.

Currently, about 4,500 providers are engaged to offer follow up doses of SOMA-JECT injectable contraceptive administration, counsel and distribute micronutrient powder to the caregivers of under five children, counsel and distribution of Zinc as an adjunct therapy in diarrhea. Besides, they also play an important role to limit irrational use of drugs among the customer who visit to their pharmacy to purchase medicine. The program has planned to introduce a referral mechanism for suspected TB patients and LARC/PM through GSP in future. Now the network is covering 59 districts in all 8 divisions.

Green Star Electronic Reporting System (GSERS), a mobile application and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) technology based electronic reporting system has already been implemented for the Green Star Providers in the network. The GSPs have been motivated to increase the utilization of micronutrient powder (MNP) and coverage of injectable service among the potential clients.

Upon receiving training from SMC, the GSPs are now confident enough in delivering public health messages along with selected primary health care services in their community and thereby contributing to the national health and family planning program in Bangladesh.

GSP Activities: