Ecuador

We strengthen families through financial inclusion and access to quality health services, and use technology to reach more people throughout the country.

Project: Electronic Health Payments

Poor families in the Andes have an unmet need for health care and health financing. Many health providers require payment at the time of service, causing families to delay or even forgo treatment altogether. Freedom from Hunger is working with a group of finance and health organizations to address the need. With VISA Foundation, Cooprogresso, a microfinance partner, and Universidad de San Francisco de Quito (USFQ), a health partner, we are developing and testing a Health Credit Card that provides health payments from client savings or credit accounts at the point of service. The goal is to improve timely access to care, reduce total costs of travel and time for poor families and improve the local health-market environment by providing additional payment methods for health providers.

Project: Providing Access to Specialty Care for Poor Rural Families—Telemedicine

Many rural microfinance clients have difficulty accessing high-quality or specialized health services. To do so, they must spend scarce resources to travel to city centers or forgo a visit to the health provider until the issue becomes too serious to ignore. Freedom from Hunger and a select group of finance, health, and telemedicine partners are making access to care more affordable and easier to reach -  using a telemedicine to deliver the health service and microfinance as a platform for connecting clients to medical specialists.

The partners, Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) Medical System, Banco Solidario, a financial institution, Banco de Desarrollo de America Latina, and Telesalud, a telemedicine software developer, offer an integrated set of services. Soon, women who join Banco Solidario for financial services will be able to go to local health centers where they get specialty medical advice from doctors hundreds of miles away.

Freedom from Hunger will train Banco Solidario’s staff to provide integrated health and microfinance services such as: access to USFQ’s health-provider network and telemedicine services; delivery of behavior-change education to create demand for health services; and client access to micro-insurance and other health financing to cover the costs of remote consultations and other health services.