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The Saathiya Trusted Partner Program in India: Meeting Young Couples' Reproductive Health Needs.

O'Sullivan, G.


September 1, 2010

Saathiya, or “trusted partner” in Hindi, is an apt name for a new private sector social marketing initiative designed to help young married couples in Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh make informed choices about how many children to have and when to start their families. Supported by funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), contributions from eight different pharmaceutical and medical association partners, and technical guidance from Abt Associates through the Private Sector Partnerships-One Project (PSP-One), Saathiya was launched in October 2007 at a press conference led by local government and civic officials, USAID, and the medical community. Program innovations include an intervention/control research design to track changes in family planning-related knowledge, attitudes, and behavior, expansion of the service delivery network to include traditional medical doctors, a “basket” of four different short-acting contraceptives that are cobranded with the Saathiya program, and a youth-friendly promotional strategy that employs a helpline, short message service (SMS) text messaging, and the Internet in additional to traditional channels.