In much of the developing world, where people are one illness away from losing everything, better provision of sanitation, clean water, other basic health services and health education would make the greatest difference to health outcomes. In the absence of more systemic, government-led provision in countries such as India, a number of MFIs have been building on their existing infrastructure through which they offer financial services to provide low-cost health protection services. With the purpose of presenting integrated health and microfinance as a powerful tool against poverty on the global stage, Freedom from Hunger and the Microcredit Summit Campaign have forged the Health and Microfinance Alliance (the Alliance), with India as a demonstration of what can be achieved and with a shared goal of reaching 3.5 million of the India’s poorest households in the next 3 years.
In his recent Huffington Post article “‘Doctor Mom’: Leveraging Local Capacity to Meet the MDGs”, Steve Hollingworth, President of Freedom from Hunger, echoes sentiments expressed on our blog by Marcia Metcalf from Freedom from Hunger and the Alliance, where she writes that the potential for local MFIs in India to scale up integrated health and microfinance is tremendous. Focusing on the concrete example of Nandini Nath from Sanoanko (Orissa, India), Hollingworth highlights real benefits of leveraging local capacity to meet the UN Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5 and calls for a more comprehensive and cohesive approach to health services, as introduced during his speech at the Clinton Global Initiative meeting and as highlighted by the report titled Integrated Health and Microfinance in India: Harnessing the Strengths of Two Sectors to Improve Health and Alleviate Poverty, published by the Alliance in June 2012. The Alliance believes that by helping the most vulnerable population address the root causes of their poverty through an integrated approach to microfinance, we will achieve better outcomes for clients and their families.
Learn more about the Alliance >>
‘Doctor Mom’: Leveraging Local Capacity to Meet the MDGs
Posted on September 27
In global development, we talk about impact and scale in aggregate terms, but it’s also important to retain a focus on those that we serve as individuals. This keeps us grounded, focused and inspired. It reminds us of why we do what we do.
Follow Freedom from Hunger on twitter at @FreeFromHunger