When I was given my PULSE assignment to put together marketing tools and an Implementation plan to target the neglected private sector providers in Nigeria, I didn’t think it was a big deal as I’ve worked mostly with the private sector. For my project team on the other hand this was new. The WHY behind this new initiative however remained the same, ‘To improve health outcomes for pregnant women and their babies where ever they live and whatever their circumstances be’. Change is a difficult concept to embrace, I thought to myself. Once I started thinking of the impact this can have on pregnant women and their babies, I realized how this can change healthcare outcomes at district, state, national level and eventually the future of this country’s heath care outcomes. That started my exciting venture of developing a Marketing Plan for Jhpiego’s services to private sector OBGYNs and Neonatal specialists in Nigeria. I soon realized collaboration is the name of the game here.
The first week at work was learning about Jhpiego and its services. Even though I did 3 weeks of that in their main office in Baltimore, I learnt quickly each NGO adapts its services to the needs of the country in which it operates. This meant a lot more reading and learning about Nigeria’s healthcare needs. From the reading and learning came the Inspiration. I got the answer as to why Jhpiego chose this initiative in Nigeria. Maternal Mortality Rates (MMR) in Nigeria are the highest in the world. Attributed to lack of knowledge, medical care, prevalence of diseases like Malaria, HIV/AIDS, infections and a lack of family planning. Pregnant women in rural areas do not feel the need to see a doctor during pregnancy. To them pregnancy is not a disease so why see a doctor or medicate.
Jhpiego an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University believes that because many people cannot reach needed services easily and expeditiously, services must be made available to people where they live and in their community. Working with the Public-Sector Providers have improved maternal and neonatal mortality rates here. The rural areas and the private sector still lags, hence the need for addressing the private sector with the services Jhpiego offers.
In the 3 weeks here in Nigeria, after multiple iterations the ideation stage has jelled, We have some ideas on how we can reach the private sector provider group and We’ve put together implementation plans along with the project team.
In my field job at GSK, I sometimes felt there was a disconnect with planning and strategizing and implementation of strategy. Now as I am on the other end of the table I am cautious. I have this unique opportunity to be Inspired, to come up with ideas and Implement them in a test market to show the team that it is achievable. Being able to do this is very fulfilling, yet a little daunting, and I need to be absolutely, positive in my attitude to make this work.
As I focus on the impact my initiative will have on the lives of pregnant women and newborn babies, I am obsessed with reducing the terrible statistics that afflicts young pregnant moms and their newborn babies and I cannot let them down. Every number has a face and life behind it. I want to see this initiative take root and change those statistics.
We have our ‘Value Proposition’ down and a ‘Pitch’ for the providers I’ll be meeting here in Nigeria. I’ve already started meeting with a few key opinion leaders. I’m implementing my strategy with Private Sector Providers in Nigeria.
Implementation has its ups and downs, I’ll keep you all posted on how it goes. Through all of this we must stay true to the WHY of this initiative.