with better health and sanitation knowledge
in the health entrepreneur pilot program
Data to June 2019
The awareness programs and training provided by the Community Health Leaders have been well-received, resulting in improved health and cleaner neighbourhoods. This is helping prevent health emergencies and reducing the expenses on healthcare, which can otherwise be a major financial shock for households in poverty.
Many participants have started earning their own income through the health entrepreneur program – 215 health leaders are currently participating in the pilot program, selling vital sanitation products to those in their communities. Selling these products adds to the overall household income and increases the freedom and respect for the entrepreneurs within their household and community.
Health leaders continue to expand on their knowledge by progressing through first-responder training. 106 health leaders have been trained as Basic Care Providers, equipping them to provide basic emergency assistance in their communities.
The 215 health leaders who have undertaken health entrepreneurship training are participating in a unique and challenging pilot that is attempting to reshape local markets and reach the last mile. This means that finding suppliers willing to sell products in remote areas has presented a challenge. Many of the suppliers see “last mile” communities as a financial risk rather than a market opportunity and that has meant they typically require their products to be purchased upfront. But the limited financial capacity of the health entrepreneurs means that they can only buy small amounts of stock to trade, which affects their income potential. We are focusing on working with suppliers as well as managing distribution dynamics carefully to help increase the profit for health entrepreneurs and support them to provide greater value to the communities in which they live.
Opportunity’s first cohort of health leaders in Indonesia has completed their initial training and are wrapping up their six-month internships. Throughout their internships these health leaders participated in refresher training on crucial topics such as handwashing, nutrition, and air and water borne diseases. So far these health leaders have reached 162,449 community members with health and sanitation education.
As anticipated, this pilot program has delivered key lessons in adapting the health leader model to best reach families in Indonesia. Following the completion of the health leader pilot program, new community health leaders are now being recruited to start the next round of health leader training.
Unlike in India, where there are many cohorts of health leaders and the program has a strong and positive reputation, the health leaders in Indonesia are trailblazers with no peers to look to and learn from. As to be expected at this early stage of the pilot, a number of women have struggled with motivation and finding ways to keep their communities engaged. We are focused on supporting these women as they continue delivering basic health education in their villages, while also exploring other ways for them to keep providing valuable knowledge and services.
Your support is empowering these women—and millions more like them—to build a healthier future their families.
"We want to keep learning and building new relationships so we can create a truly system-changing solution to the health challenges facing rural communities."
– Jessica Carter, Asia Health Program Director
How important is health? We asked Jessica a few questions about how healthcare is helping families leave poverty behind.
"At first people laughed. But then they started paying attention."
– Navihan, Deoria
Navihan joined health classes out of curiosity, but soon noticed the changes in her family.
"I became a health leader because I wanted my family to be healthy and well."
– Sunita, Madupur
Attending health classes meant battling her husband’s disapproval – until her new knowledge saved his life.
"I wanted to tell my community about what I had learned."
– Sashikala, Jaminaran
Sashikala began health leader training because she wanted to improve the sanitation in her village.