Antonia Domínguez is typical of many Honduran women in that she is the head of her household. She is also typical in that she has no health insurance (more than 80 percent of the population is uninsured) and has to travel long distances to get to the nearest health clinic or pharmacy. However, her situation has greatly improved since joining Global Partnerships’ partner (GP) COMIXMUL, a microfinance institution (MFI) that provides access to basic medications, community pharmacies, and physical exams.
It was during one of those physical exams that Antonia learned that she had advanced uterine cancer. She quickly underwent a complete hysterectomy and has been cancer free ever since. Joining COMIXMUL not only saved Antonia’s life, but it also provided her with the opportunity to serve her community; Antonia was trained to be the pharmacist at her local COMIXMUL community pharmacy. This is a vital role because people often have to travel great distances to get to the nearest pharmacy, which then charges high prices for medications. COMIXMUL’s community pharmacies, including the one run by Antonia, establish a point of sale closer to home and make medicines more accessible by charging half the margin found in the commercial market. Like other pharmacists, Antonia also gets to retain 10 percent of the pharmacy’s gross earnings, which helps her increase her income.
GP is currently working with COMIXMUL to redesign its health services business model so that it can serve more women like Antonia with a wider range of education and services.