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PO Box A524
Sydney South NSW 1235, Level 11, 227 Elizabeth Street Sydney NSW 2000

Telephone: 1800 812 164

© 2024 Opportunity International AustraliaABN 83 003 805 043

Give life-saving
    health education

Health Leaders teach essential health, nutrition and sanitation knowledge to their local communities. Some Health Leaders build health-related businesses, and others are trained to provide basic triage.

1 in 4 child deaths in Indonesia are due to unsafe drinking water.

1 in 4

For millions living in poverty, healthcare is unaffordable and inaccessible, with further inequalities for those in rural and remote areas. The pandemic has exacerbated challenges with disruptions to health services and increased economic pressure on families.

But health leaders are educating communities.

By building on the base of existing small loan clients, Opportunity's Health program focuses on training local women to become health leaders in their communities, allowing them to spread life-saving knowledge and care while earning an income to support their families.

To become health leaders, those interested and accepted into the program undertake six months of training in hygiene and sanitation, including community mapping which helps them more thoroughly understand their community's health needs. Within six months of graduating from the program, a health leader will be able to educate up to 200 households with basic health information, while selling products like soap and feminine hygiene products.

The result: improved health for the community, and a reliable source of income for health leaders.

The journey of a health leader

A small loan gives a woman the opportunity to start a small business and improve the lives of her family with increased income.

Health Leader training is offered in the community and the Health Leader signs up to attend six months of training in essential healthcare and sanitation.

The Health Leader maps needs within her community during her training allowing her to more fully understand the community's health issues and solutions.

Families are reached in the local community, and community health improves as essential health and hygiene knowledge is shared and sanitation practices are improved.

930 million
worldwide are at risk of falling into poverty due to out-of-pocket health spending of 10% or more of household budget
60 million
lives could be saved and 3.7 years added to average life expectancy with greater access to primary healthcare
18 million
health worker shortfall is expected in low income countries by 2030, deepening inequality inaccess to healthcare

In 2023, we reached 

926,695 people

through our health programs in India, Indonesia and Bangladesh.

Rahima's story

Health Leaders educating their community

Rahima was born in a poor village in Bangladesh. When she grew older, she suffered severe iron deficiency anaemia, which got worse when she fell pregnant. Struggling for seven years to access treatment, Rahima’s concern for the health of women in her community grew.

A microfinance client of Opportunity International Australia’s program partner in Bangladesh, Rahima was invited to train to become a Health Leader in her community. Once trained as a frontline health worker, she undertook a community survey to assess the health needs of 213 households in her area.

Her survey identified health issues like nutrition and sexually transmitted diseases, as well as antenatal and postnatal care. Rahima now supports her community with targeted, door-to-door education five-to-six days a week.

Proud of her work, Rahima is already noticing changes amongst the community members who participate in her sessions. Expectant mothers are completing antenatal check-ups and avoiding heavy physical labour during pregnancy, and nutrition levels in the community are improving. She’s even helped five women avoid the anaemia she suffered herself by enabling them to access iron supplements.

This project is supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP).

You can help today.

Each $1 you donate is enough to reach 1 person with health education.

Donate today to help Opportunity International Australia provide essential health and sanitation knowledge to communities living in poverty.