Blue Star Program (BSP)

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

The Blue Star program is a network of community level non-graduate health providers who are trained on family planning, reproductive and child health and nutrition with other public health priority areas to offer quality services to the community people. 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. The network provider offers affordable services to the target population by improving awareness and accessibility from their service delivery points. To strengthen the network SMC provides periodical training, ensure commodity supply and promotional support, offer need based technical assistance and conduct regular supervision and monitoring by the Program Officers located across the country.

Major Accomplishments

  • Around 25% contributions in injectable CPR nationally (Source: BDHS-2017)
  • Approximately 2.56 million SOMA-JECT injectable annually
  • Administering Sayana PRESS, a subcutaneous DMPA - a new technology of injectable contraceptive
  • Distribute 11.22 million Micro Nutrient Powder (MNP) MoniMix annually to prevent Iron Deficiency Anemia (IDA) among under-5 children
  • Refer 1,45,354 presumptive TB cases and 1,20,733 potential clients for LAPM annually
  • Around 95% of BSPs are providing their monthly report through mobile based Blue Star Electronic Reporting System
  • Approximately 22,456 children under five received GMP services annually
  • Provide 765,969 Couple-Years of Protection (CYP) and averted 268,137 unintended pregnancies, 13,185 deaths of children under-5 and 1,132,005 Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALYs) annually

The program started its journey in 1998 and currently approximately 8,000 providers are engaged throughout the country. Of them, one fourth are located in urban areas and the remaining are in rural areas. The program is being implemented in close collaboration with Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP) of Bangladesh with the financial support from USAID.

Blue Star Providers are selected based on certain criteria that include a minimum SSC level education, having a drug store with license from regulatory authorities, at least three years of practicing experience, adequate female and child client flow and have willingness to attend training programs of SMC as well as provide quality service following the standard operating protocol.

In order to enroll the providers in the network, SMC provides them a three-day training covering priority services, counseling skills, compliance and its reporting process. The basic training is jointly organized by DGFP and SMC, and successful participants receive certificates. The priority services included in the training program are family planning methods with special focus on Injectables, maternal health, essential newborn care, integrated management of childhood illness focusing on ARI/pneumonia, diarrhea, tuberculosis and child nutrition. After completion of the basic training the providers sign an MOU with SMC and become a network provider. The providers also receive periodical refresher training to update their knowledge and build their capacity further. SMC also publishes a periodical newsletter “ALAAP” for the providers to share the latest information on various public health issues. Through this newsletter BSPs also exchange lessons learned and best practices.

An injectable contraceptive Depo-Provera, over-branded by SMC as SOMA-JECT, is being offered by the BSPs. In addition, they offer SAYANA PRESS, a subcutaneous DMPA to the prospective clients, refer presumptive TB cases, potential LAPM clients and severely sick children to the nearest service delivery points. In order to address Iron Deficiency Anemia, they provide nutritional counseling and services to under-5 children and offer them MoniMix. The providers also offer Growth Monitoring Promotion and Nebulization services for the under five children.

SMC promotes Blue Star outlets and the network through comprehensive demand creation activities using both local and mass media. The outlet is branded with a signboard, curtain and five posters regarding compliance, infection prevention/waste disposal and essential product detailing. In addition, SMC also provides branded apron to these providers.

Blue Star providers send information regarding their performance to SMC on a monthly basis using mobile based Electronic Reporting System through Interactive Voice Response. On an average, 95% providers send their monthly performance report to SMC using this software. 

BSP Activities: