More girls (and boys) are living healthier lives today than ever before. This is due to concerted, international partnerships between governments, companies, health professionals, and the media to expand life-saving prevention and treatment interventions to girls at the most critical stages in their lives:
And thanks to the outstanding research, communication and advocacy efforts by the organizations and campaigns like Girl Effect, Girl Up, 10x10, the Center for Global Development, the World Bank and others, there is clear and demonstrable evidence that good health is the key to unleashing the full potential of girls.
The girl movement is stronger than ever today, but the challenges are immense. What can we collectively do to ensure that all girls realize their full potential?
There are no shortages of known interventions that have the potential to expand access to healthcare for girls and women, but there are gaps. The structure of public/private partnerships have evolved to a genuine partnership that is mutually beneficial. Whether an organization’s bottom line is measured in lives saved, revenue, or a combination of the two, everyone wins.
For example: Private sector partners can help NGOs working in developing countries better understand how to apply sound marketing techniques to develop demand for health services. NGOs with established health franchises, local knowledge of procurement regulations and distribution channels can help companies establish a market for brands and health products that meet the needs of a given population.
PSI currently operates 24 franchises around the world – applying the commercial franchising technique used by a company like McDonalds or FedEx to public health. For example, in the Sun Quality Health franchise network in Myanmar, private health providers commit to a brand and a standard level of high-quality, accessible, and equitable health services. In turn, providers receive on-going training and support from PSI and its partners.
One of many key measures of success is being able to prove the efficacy of a health intervention and receiving public funds from large government donors to take them to scale. Because large donors are less likely to invest public funds in unproven models, these interventions need help getting off the ground. That is where the need is. That is the gap we need to close.
Partnerships between the private sector and NGOs can help establish markets for products and prove new interventions that expand access to girls and women can be taken to scale. By protecting the health of girls and women we can create stronger families and communities; and we can open up economic opportunities that currently halt billions of dollars in lost productivity every year. That capacity can be turned into a market that will drive future growth. Improving girl’s and women’s health will greatly reduce the financial and human resource burden on health systems, global businesses and economies caused by loss in production and the monumental costs of providing treatment. By keeping momentum behind private-public partnerships, we can close other critical health gaps facing girls, young women, and their families.
Learn about PSI programs that are improving the lives of girls. For just $29.70, PSI can provide one year of healthy life to a growing girl. Donate to PSI today.