Around the world, approximately 170 million households using financial services tailored for people living in poverty still lack access to affordable and high quality healthcare. For families living in poverty, when a family member falls sick, it can mean the difference between following a path towards prosperity or remaining in poverty. An additional challenge is having to make tough decisions between paying for healthcare or paying for basic family expenses. Furthermore, for those living in rural areas, seeking medical attention often requires taking time off from work to travel long distances to receive medical attention—resulting in the loss of much needed income.
Providing affordable health services to people living in poverty is a complex challenge, one that must account for limited financial resources, difficult to reach rural populations (the “last mile” challenge), lack of basic health awareness, etc. We seek out and partner with MFIs and cooperatives that are uniquely positioned to address this lack of access. With GP investment and knowledge capital, we work with them to design, test and scale new business models that deliver health solutions, sustainably. For example, we are currently designing and testing business models with four partners that are part of our Health Services Fund (HSF), a multi-million dollar technical assistance and grant-based fund, which aims to serve an initial goal of 100,000 people through 6 partners in 6 countries by June 2014.
For many of our partners, the thirst for knowledge and a new way of solving problems sustainably is as important as access to capital resources. We work with our partners collaboratively to explore new ways of approaching and solving health care delivery challenges that meet the needs of local clients.
One of our partners is Fonkoze, the largest MFI in Haiti. They have never been able to sustainably provide health education and screening for its clients, many of whom are scattered across the country in isolated areas with poor road access. The solution was to leverage Fonkoze’s existing network of 1,800 village banks to provide preventive health education and screenings in addition to financial services, and to structure Fonkoze’s business model to ensure that the service providers could be trained and paid for through client fees.
- Watch our Health Services video for a quick two minute overview of our current work.
- Good health leads to more productive lives, which is why access to affordable health education and services is critical to improving the lives of people living in poverty.
- To create enduring impact and improve lives, we work alongside our partners to develop market-sustained business models that provide more clients with access to affordable health education and services (screenings, medicines and consultations).
- We continue to develop new market-sustained business models that allow partners to provide more clients with access to affordable health education and services.