Testing Health Messages
In the Dominican Republic, fewer than 8 percent of babies are breastfed exclusively during the first six months of their lives, and child mortality is the fourth highest in Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB Invest has teamed up with its client Securepharma to test the effectiveness of providing health-related information on commercial products. At randomly selected hospitals, mothers of newborns will receive different types of informational or motivational messages about breastfeeding—some printed on packages of the company’s Colita's brand of baby wipes, others printed in flyers or delivered personally by lactation specialists. The aim is to test the relative effectiveness of the type of message and delivery, as well as to identify some of the root causes underlying the low breastfeeding rate.
The project consists of the installation and operation of: a) a production line for baby wipes, first of its kind in the country; and b) a production line for chicken broth. Both will be located in the city of Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. Securepharma, the Borrower, is an importer, wholesale distributor, and (to a lesser extent) packager of personal hygiene products, baby products, and foodstuffs. The total cost of the project is estimated at US$5.1 million, including working capital requirements. The IIC would grant a loan of US$4.0 million.
The objective of the loan is to assist in efforts to expand Securepharma’s manufacturing capacity while following international standards. The project will also contribute to increasing capacity to produce basic consumer goods and make them available to the population.