Reducing under-5 mortality in Uganda
Living Goods is saving lives and creating entrepreneurs.
There was a 26% reduction in under-five mortality in communities where the project was active. Data showed positive effects on both children’s health and postnatal care between 2011 and 2013.
New entrepreneurs helped expand the market for a range of health and consumer products from medicines for diarrhoea, malaria and pneumonia to bed nets and contraceptives.
Working through a network of mainly female Community Health Promoters (CHPs), Living Goods and BRAC delivered life saving information and products to rural and urban communities.
A local door-to-door sales force
Stocked with expertise and a basket of health and consumer goods to:
Diagnose and treat under-5 children
Make prompt referrals to clinics
Provide counselling to pregnant women
Sell affordable health and consumer products
Make a small but steady income
By the end of 2013, over 1,000 Community Health Promoters were active serving over 100,000 households in Uganda.
What we're learning
A cluster-randomised trial was conducted between October 2013 and December 2013, after approximately three years of implementation. The evaluation compared ‘treatment’ villages where Community Health Promoters delivered their services with control villages that did not receive the intervention. It showed a 26% reduction in under-five mortality in the ‘treatment’ villages.
Healthy children and mothers
Children in ‘treatment’ villages were more likely to sleep under insecticide treated bed-nets compared to the control group. They also received more follow-up visits by Community Health Promoters after falling sick with malaria, acute respiratory infections or diarrhoea. Pregnant women were more likely to receive home visits within the first week after birth compared to those in the control group.
Community Health Promoters became active players in the market for curative medicines in treatment villages. The overall perception of the Community Health Promoters was that they offered high quality drugs, at a competitive price, in caring way.
A private-sector partnership approach can build on public sector options to reach households with children under five. The data show positive impact on childhood health outcomes and postnatal care.