Sharp pains in her side sent a very pregnant Josephine to her local health center in Bénin.
When she learned it was potentially life-threatening hypertension, she quickly borrowed $70 from her savings group to pay for her health visits and medication until she gave birth. She then used her savings to get post-pregnancy check-ups.
Each year thousands of women die from pregnancy-related complications simply because they have to choose between healthcare and other needs.
Josephine’ story is different because she was prepared.
She made sure to take part in the special health savings fund her group had created. She also has access to a network of doctors through the program.
Josephine continues to take her health care seriously. Using a small payout from the savings group, she visited the clinic when an inexplicable pain would not go away. She had the condition treated, and also used the visit to learn about family planning, selecting a method that would work for her.
When she looks at her daughter Huguette, Josephine is just thankful that she and others in her community have health loans and health savings to give them security and peace of mind.
Josephine lives with her family in south-central Bénin. For many poor households, health costs are their largest expense and often the largest barrier to getting timely care. Her savings group is part of a program developed by Freedom from Hunger (now part of Grameen Foundation) that has helped 20,000 poor women save for their families’ health care needs, and connected them to 43 public and private health providers.
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