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Ghana Program Profile

SHOPS Project


June 19, 2015
In September 2011, the USAID mission in Ghana invited the Strengthening Health Outcomes through the Private Sector (SHOPS) project, led by Abt Associates, to develop a program for introducing new diarrhea treatment guidelines to the private sector as a complement to public sector efforts. SHOPS developed and implemented a four-year program that focused on four main objectives: expand access to and ensure a sustained supply of quality, affordable ORS and zinc through private sector channels; improve consumer and private provider knowledge of correct use and effectiveness of zinc as a treatment for diarrhea; and increase the use of ORS and zinc as the first-line treatment for acute pediatric diarrheas. The program was implemented nationwide, with targeted training and supportive supervision for frontline drug retailers and over-the-counter medical sellers (OTCMS) in three USAID target regions: Central, Greater Accra, and Western Ghana.

This profile presents the program’s context, goals, components, results, and the following lessons learned:
  • Public-private partnerships enhance prospects for successful scale up.
  • Recognition and engagement with OTCMS as frontline providers in the community is essential.
  • Mass media is a key link to consumer awareness and ultimately to correct ORS and zinc use.
  • Innovative technologies reinforce training and help build a collaborative relationship between public sector regulators and private sector outlets; and
  • Partnerships with established regulatory bodies and integrating the program into existing systems strengthen prospects for sustainability.