Fonkoze’s Health program seeks to provide our clients with the crucial health support they need to continue climbing our Staircase Out of Poverty. We offer health trainings, vitamin distribution and training, referrals, and screenings for child malnutrition.
Our Solidarity Center chiefs (women elected as leaders by their peers) play a key role in the distribution network for our Health services. During trainings led by Fonkoze staff, Center chiefs receive vitamins to distribute to their Center members, learn about preventative healthcare, and are trained to screen their members’ children for malnutrition.
Our Boutik Sante program brings healthcare products and services to rural Haiti while introducing a new business opportunity to its clients. This initiative taps into Fonkoze’s nationwide network to deliver high quality and affordable over-the-counter health products and medicines.
Seventy-five percent of Haitians lack access to health products and services, particularly those living in rural and hard-to-reach areas. When available, medicines are prohibitively expensive, at three times the international market rate, and frequently of poor quality.
Accordingly, many Haitians only seek care and treatment when illnesses reach crisis-level. By then, an illness that may have been treated or avoided with a simple, over-the-counter medicine, has reached an acute and occasionally irreversible stage.
Number of Patron Beneficiaries: 157,595 (as of May 2016)
Community Health Education: Boutik Sante
In addition to expanding their enterprises through the sale of health products, Boutik Sante entrepreneurs serve a critical role by providing basic community health education. Each month, they receive trainings on specific health-related topics, such as vector-borne diseases, nutrition, and hygiene. They then replicate the training sessions in their credit centers with their fellow clients. To date, entrepreneurs have reached a total of 4,285 households with health education.
The Pilot: Boutik Sante
Although provision of many health services requires highly trained professionals, there is consensus that the delivery of a number of basic, essential health services can be shifted to community members who receive rapid, skills-based training with close supervision.
In 2013-2014, Fonkoze piloted Boutik Sante with 69 women entrepreneurs. The initiative was shown to be clinically effective—improving health outcomes and increasing the use of health goods among 4,500 beneficiaries—and financially sustainable, with 20% profit margins within six months of operating. New to Haiti, this innovation draws on successful similar models that are being implemented worldwide.
Scaling Up + Sustainability: Boutik Sante
By the end of 2016, Boutik Sante will scale to 600 entrepreneurs who will each provide products and services to an estimated 560 households. By 2020, the program will reach full-scale, with 1,800 entrepreneurs serving over two million Haitians. One of the key aspects of this social enterprise is that, after initial start-up costs, it will be fully sustainable and perpetuated by the market, itself. Upon attaining sustainability, the program will no longer need to rely on additional donor investment.
Impact Monitoring: Boutik Sante
Researchers from Columbia University are monitoring the program rollout to assess impacts on health outcomes. The primary indicator will be the proportion of children under five years of age with morbidity due to diarrhea, fever and/or acute respiratory infection with a target of a 20% reduction. Secondary indicators relate to family planning; maternal and child health; and chronic disease.
Accolades: Boutik Sante
In April, 2016, Boutik Sante was named a Finalist for a Classy Award. Boutik Sante was one of 100 finalists selected from over 1,300 applicants. From June 14-16, Program Director Florence Jean-Louis participated in the Classy 2016 Collaborative, a gathering of Classy Finalists as well as other innovative and entrepreneurial organizations.
Partnerships: Boutik Sante
Fonkoze leads a consortium of partners that include Haiti Medicine (national supply chain), Healthy Entrepreneurs (global supply chain), Cordaid (social entrepreneurship and technical assistance), PSI (health products and marketing technical assistance), and Columbia University (monitoring and evaluation).