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microLINKS Speakers Corner Synthesis: Why Integrate Microfinance with Health Services? Image

Promoting Inclusive Markets and Financial Systems

microLINKS Speakers Corner Synthesis: Why Integrate Microfinance with Health Services?

microLINKS Speakers Corner Synthesis: Why Integrate Microfinance with Health Services?

Summary

Why integrate microenterprise development and health services?AIDS is the leading cause of death worldwide for people aged 15-49. There are more than 33.2 million people living with HIV & AIDS, nearly 22.5 million of which live in sub-Saharan Africa. Approximately 6,000 people die every day from AIDS. In response to this ongoing global challenge, The SEEP Network began a cross-sectoral initiative to bring together microenterprise development and public health professionals to confront and combat the challenge of poverty in the context of HIV & AIDS. One product of this initiative is the SEEP Network Guidelines for Microenterprise Development in HIV &
AIDS-Impacted Communities: Supporting Economic Security and Health. The SEEP Guidelines, designed for health professionals, microenterprise development practitioners, and policy makers, offer strategic guidance for simulating a positive spiral of economic security and well-being for people and communities affected by HIV & AIDS.

From October 5 to October 6, 2010, the SEEP Network HIV & AIDS and Microenterprise Development (HAMED) Working Group participated in the Microlink Speakers Corner Why Integrate Microfinance with Health Services? hosted by the USAID Microenterprise Development Office and facilitated by Marcia Metcalfe and Bobbi Gray of Freedom From Hunger, a HAMED member organization, and Anna Awimbo, Dr. DSK Rao, and Pepper Whaling of Microcredit Summit Campaign. The discussion explored the benefits and challenges for both clients and institutions of integrating health services with microfinance projects with a focus on the scalability, cost-benefit analysis, and sustainability of integration.

Key discussion topics included:
• Health Education Services
• Health Financing and Insurance
• Linkages/Access to Health Care Providers and Health Products



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