Mutuelle de santé Oyofal Paj de Kaolack

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Mutuelle de santé Oyofal Paj de Kaolack

Project Stage:
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

To tackle the related problems of rural women’s poverty and the unaffordable cost of health care, Lobé is coupling mutual credit and savings institutions with health insurance mutual institutions. As a result, both are self-sustaining and better able to support the women they serve.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

More than half of the population in West Africa is affected by poverty. Over 80 percent of the Senegalese population lack access to financial services and health insurance. Rural women are the most vulnerable of those affected. These women have always had income-generating activities to meet their needs. However, access to financial capital is a significant barrier to their success. These women are excluded from the formal financial system due to a lack of collateral and prohibitively lengthy and complicated banking underwriting. The State has introduced microcredit options for poor but economically active individuals. These financial services and products are intended to promote economic growth and poverty alleviation. Rural women do take advantage of these services but face severe difficulties in repaying the loans. A prime reason for this is they are forced to borrow to pay unexpected health expenses rather than for capital investment in microenterprises. Most Senegalese people cannot access or afford healthcare. Eightly percent of the population does not have adequate medical coverage despite the Senegalese government’s “Programme National de Developpement Sanitaire” (PNDS/National Health Development Program) that attempted to provide health coverage for the entire population by the end of 2007. Moreover, the national social security system and conventional health insurance do not cover the informal sector or those in rural areas, which together represent 90 percent of Senegal’s population. The citizen sector responded to these challenges in the 1990s and 2000s by creating mutual savings and lending institutions and then mutual health insurance institutions for, among others, low-income women in rural areas. However, both sets of institutions struggled to be sustainable and to achieve the scale necessary to be successful. Specifically, uncovered health emergencies have reduced loan repayments and inadequate access to credit has crippled the public’s ability to pay health insurance premiums. At the same time, the overstretched insurance and credit institutions are not able to expand their reach due to low repayment rates.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Lobe realised that despite loans provided to vulnerable populations to fund income generating activities, poverty was still current in their communities. Indeed, the major part of this funding is used to cover health costs for family members instead of being used in income generating activities. This prevents them from saving in order to repay their loans. She decided then to set up a mutual of health insurance that is accessible to all without restriction. Concerned about assuring financial sustainability to the two institutions, she sets up a credit/health financial support mechanism by linking the mutual of health to that of savings and loans. Through a Memorandum of Understanding, both mutual develop a game of solidarity by sharing operating costs and adopting a common policy in favour of access to health care and an improvement of households’ economic level. Representatives are placed in each district and village within their covered area to manage the social marketing for the communities to adopt the initiative and commit themselves more in the mutuality. This combination ensures the financial sustainability of both mutual organizations by sharply increasing the repayment rate on loans and improving the ability of the women to pay for mutual health insurance and thus have access to health care.