Deki’s programmes are developed based on communities’ needs. Poverty is a complex issue so we work collaboratively with our field partners and the local community to ensure long lasting, sustainable change.
Poverty is both a cause and a consequence of poor health
The communities we work with are not only getting loans and business training, but other, complementary support as well, such as healthcare workshops.
This is Frank Solomon, a Government Health Outreach employee who teaches a breast cancer awareness workshop to Deki-IADES entrepreneurs.
The workshop encourages attendees to regularly check for signs of breast cancer and to speak openly it to break down stigma. Attendees learn how to check for its signs, where to go for additional checks/mammogram and associated costs. While these workshops are beneficial (and popular) with the communities we work with, by themselves they are not enough.
Marginalised groups and vulnerable individuals are often worst affected by poor health; deprived of the information, money or access to health services that would help them prevent and treat illness. Doctor’s fees, medication and cost of transport to and from a health centre can be instrumental in sustaining household and individual poverty levels. The reality is, individuals are forced to delay seeking medical care, self-diagnose and treat, or forego needed treatment.
Illness also effects more than just the individual. Relatives are called upon as carers, or for help in reaching and paying for treatment. The burden of caring is often taken on by women and adolescent girls who sacrifice their education to take on waged work to help cover costs and make up for losses in household income.
Missing out on education has long-term implications for a woman’s opportunities later in life and for her own health.
Integrating health insurance into microfinance services offers a unique opportunity to address these barriers to improve health and increase financial protection for marginalised groups for whom it is easier to pay a little each month than to save large sums of money.
Together with our partner IADES, we are piloting a health insurance service for 2,000 entrepreneurs in Togo. This project aims to address the burden of cost associated with health care for the four leading causes of death in Togo when left untreated (diarrhoea causing diseases, malaria, wounds and prenatal complications).
Stay tuned to hear more about the roll out of this life saving project.
Help us develop and deliver life changing programmes.