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International Journal of Population Research
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 470598, 9 pages
Research Article

Addressing Inequities in Access to Health Products through the Use of Social Marketing, Community Mobilization, and Local Entrepreneurs in Rural Western Kenya

1Epidemic Intelligence Service, Office of Workforce and Career Development, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
2Enteric Diseases Epidemiology Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
3Department of Pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA
4Nutrition Branch, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA 30333, USA
5Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kisumu 1570-50100, Kenya

Received 1 November 2011; Revised 21 March 2012; Accepted 25 March 2012

Academic Editor: Syed Masud Ahmed

Copyright © 2012 Julie R. Harris et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


While social marketing can increase uptake of health products in developing countries, providing equitable access is challenging. We conducted a 2-year evaluation of uptake of WaterGuard, insecticide-treated bednets (ITNs), and micronutrient Sprinkles in Western Kenya. Sixty villages were randomly assigned to intervention and comparison groups. Following a baseline survey (BL), a multifaceted intervention comprising social marketing of these products, home visits by product vendors from a local women’s group (Safe Water and AIDS Project, or SWAP), product promotions, and modeling of water treatment and safe storage in was implemented in intervention villages. Comparison villages received only social marketing of WaterGuard and ITNs. We surveyed again at one year (FU1), implemented the intervention in comparison villages, and surveyed again at two years (FU2). At BL, <3% of households had been visited by a SWAP vendor. At FU1, more intervention than comparison households had been visited by a SWAP vendor (39% versus 9%, 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 0 1 ), and purchased WaterGuard (14% versus 2%, 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 0 1 ), Sprinkles (36% versus 6%, 𝑃 < 0 . 0 0 0 1 ), or ITNs (3% versus 1%, 𝑃 < 0 . 0 4 ) from that vendor. During FU2, 47% and 41% of original intervention and comparison households, respectively, reported ever receiving a SWAP vendor visit ( 𝑃 = 0 . 1 6 ); >90% those reported ever purchasing a product from the vendor. WaterGuard ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 2 ) and ITNs ( 𝑃 = 0 . 0 0 5 ) were purchased less frequently by lower-SES than higher-SES households; Sprinkles, the least expensive product, was purchased equally across all quintiles.