Kochi, Dec 5 IANS | 10 months ago

The first global health conference on social marketing (SM) and social franchising (SF) that ended in this Kerala city Thursday has recommended a national action plan on SM and SF in India.


The valedictory meeting also proposed the formation of a broad southeast Asian forum to synergise the best global practices in these areas.

Hindustan Lever Limited chairman and managing director M. Ayyappan said the South East Asian Association on Social Marketing and Social Franchising will be formed within the next two months.

The partnering nations include Bangladesh, Bhutan, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, Indonesia, India, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Timor-Leste or East Timor.

The consensus arrived at the three-day event was to take the concept of social marketing and social franchising beyond family planning and contraceptive marketing. The policy makers and healthcare practitioners who were the main participants also called for action in consonance with the needs of people in the region, understanding donor perspectives and the demand and supply side.

The meet also called for the creation of a working group, measures for capacity building, and efforts for broadening the basket of products beyond family planning.

The conference was attended by nearly 400 delegates from India and 24 other countries, and saw networking between several country representatives, sharing of best global practices and a unanimous decision by leading donor organisations to work jointly.

Talking on behalf of the leading development institutions, UNFPA country representative Frederika Meijer said the task under the Family Planning 2020 programme was to reach 125 million more women in India.

She said social organisations were committed to working with the government and the private sector in the area of social marketing and social franchising.

The three-day event was organised by Hindustan Latex Family Planning Promotion Trust, a not-for-profit organisation promoted by the central public sector enterprise HLL Lifecare Ltd. The event was supported by the union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs (IICA), HLL and National AIDS Control Organisation (NACO).

(Posted on 05-12-2013)