4273.0: Tuesday, November 14, 2000 - Board 7

Abstract #1454

Linkages between micro-finance and health services for poor urban females: the case of Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women

Jessica L. Jacobson, Honors B.A, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University graduate student - MPA in International Development, 3021 Long Meadow Circle, Bloomington, MN 55425, 612-854-2919, jessica_jacobson@ivillage.com

Using information collected from female slum-dwellers in Bangladesh and from micro-finance and health professionals working with these populations, this paper explores their healthcare status, looks at Shakti Foundation's experience and success in addressing their economic and healthcare needs, and examines the possibility of further linkages between micro-finance and healthcare. Female slum-dwellers in Bangladesh face numerous obstacles to obtaining healthcare and serious consequences, both social and economic, when they do not meet their health needs. To stem such problems, initiatives can be advanced in preventative health care, health education, clinical health services, financial assistance in health crises, and/or emergency health services. Each micro-finance institution must decide whether the benefits of providing some or all of these services to its members outweigh the inherent costs. Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women provides an example of an organization directly linking micro-finance and health services. Offering insurance, loans, and clinical services to its clients, Shakti illustrates and tests possible linkages. Data from Shakti clients is contrasted with non-clients to compare income, access to healthcare, and rates of illness among the sample groups. Broadening the scope and making the conclusions applicable to diverse populations and cultures, the study compares Shakti's services and sustainability with similar organizations. Illuminating both the salient problems and benefits of these partnerships, the paper then offers indicators of propitious entry for programs such as these and recommendations of services and programs that can be initiated. The analysis and conclusions are relevant both to other Bangladeshi institutions and foreign organizations initiating similar programs.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the session, participants will be able to : 1. Name seven impediments to urban slum residents accessing quality care. 2. Recognize the primary diseases affecting urban slum residents in Bangladesh. 3. Name the four primary effects of illness on women's financial status. 4. Name five methods employed by female urban slum dwellers to pay for medical treatment. 5. Assess the products offered by Shakti Foundation. 6. Articulate seven variables affecting client demand for Shakti health services. 7. Describe how satisfied or unsatisfied urban slum dwellers are with their current health care. 8. Name two other MFI's in Bangladesh conducting similar work and contrast them with Shakti 9. Discuss the benefits and drawbacks of linking micro-finance and access to health services. 10. Identify five characteristics that indicate a propitious entry for linked services. 11. Name seven recommendations or innovations and identify whether one of these might be appropriate for the country or institution they work with. 12. Develop a feasibility study for their employer or partner organization investigating these linkages

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Partnerships

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Shakti Foundation for Disadvantaged Women - Dhaka, BANGLADESH
I do not have any significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA