Blue Star Program (BSP)

Blue Star - an innovative program to mobilize non-graduate health providers in Private Sector

The Blue Star program is an innovative and highly acclaimed network of SMC - to offer quality public health services for the community people. The Blue Star Providers (BSPs) are equipped with adequate knowledge and skills in family planning, reproductive and child health, nutrition, and other major public health areas. The network providers offer affordable services to their community people by increasing awareness and accessibility from their service delivery points.

Major Accomplishments 

(October 2021 to September 2022)

>4.70 million vials injectables administered

>0.07 million sachets of Micronutrient Powder distributed to prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia among under-5 children 

>220,365 suspected TB cases referred

>194,564 potential clients for Long-acting and Permanent Methods referred

>47,714 children under-five received Growth Monitoring and services

>566,113 pregnant women received pregnancy care services

>96% of providers send their monthly report through a mobile-based Electronic Reporting System


The vision of Blue Star program is to build capacity of the community level non-graduate health providers in the private sector and ensure quality service through them. SMC provides regular training to strengthen the network and ensures sustainable commodity supply and promotional support. SMC also offers need-based technical support, and conducts regular supervision and monitoring through its Program Officers located across the country.

Blue Star program started in 1998 and its extensive nationwide network has about 9,900 health providers. About one-fourth of the providers are based in urban areas and the remaining are in rural areas. SMC implements the program in collaboration with the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) of Bangladesh with financial support from USAID. A major focus of the program is to offer contraceptive injectable services through these health providers. According to the Bangladesh Demographic and Health Survey 2017-18, about 33% of the national Contraceptive Prevalence Rate of injectable is being offered by these providers.

SMC maintains standard procedures for the selection of BSP. The criteria include minimum SSC level education, a licensed drug store, medical training at least six-months period, at least three years of practical experience as health service provider, and moreover, an adequate female and child client flow. The Blue Star Providers are required to express their willingness to attend training programs of SMC and a commitment to providing quality service following the standard operating protocols. SMC offers a three-day basic training covering priority public health services, counseling skills, compliance, and the reporting process before the providers are enrolled into the network. DGFP and SMC jointly facilitate basic training and successful participants receive certificates. The major areas in the training curriculum are family planning methods with a special focus on injectable contraceptives, maternal health, and essential newborn care, integrated management of childhood illness focusing on ARI/pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis, and child nutrition. Following the successful completion of the basic training, SMC and selected Blue Star providers sign a Memorandum of Understanding which allows them to join the Blue Star network. Furthermore, SMC conducts periodical refresher training to enhance their knowledge and capacity building. It also publishes a periodical newsletter called “ALAAP” – a platform where SMC share the latest information on various public health issues. The newsletter is also a channel which provides essential exchange lessons and promotes best practices by Blue Star Providers.

The Blue Star Providers offer injectable contraceptives ‘Depo-Provera,’ over-branded as ‘SOMA-JECT’. They refer suspected TB cases, potential Long-Acting and Permanent Method clients, and seriously ill children to the nearby service delivery points. They offer nutritional counseling and services to the parents of under-5 children and provide them Micronutrient Powder to address iron-deficiency anemia. They also provide growth monitoring services to the children under five to track their nutritional status. Regarding pregnancy care services, the Blue Star Providers measure height and weight, check pulse, blood pressure, blood glucose and temperature. They also identify risk pregnancy and refer them to the appropriate health facilities.

SMC uses both local and mass media as demand creation activities for Blue Star program. Generally, a Blue Star outlet is branded with a signboard, curtain, and five posters regarding compliance, infection prevention/waste disposal, and essential product details. Additionally, they receive branded apron from SMC.

Blue Star Providers use a mobile-based Electronic Reporting System through interactive voice response to send information related to their performance in each month. The performance report includes growth monitoring, pregnancy care, referral service, injectable administration and other major public health product distribution.

Blue Star is one of the largest and most effective program in the private sector that advancing to the quality public health services across the country. The following table shows division-wise coverage of the Blue Star Providers:

Division  Urban % Rural % Total
Dhaka 1181 43 1564 57 2745
Chattogram 696 34 1329 66 2025
Rajshahi 282 19 1231 81 1513
Khulna 202 14 1221 86 1423
Rangpur 209 18 944 82 1153
Sylhet 189 28 475 72 664
Barishal 144 17 688 83 832
Mymensingh 168 23 576 77 744
Total 3071 28 8028 72 11099


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Blue Star Program (BSP) documentary: 'Ma Shomabesh'

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