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Case Studies | April 19, 2016


Strengthening Local Economies in Senegal through Access to Medical Insurance and Savings Groups

In line with its global mission to promote human development by fighting disease and poverty, CRS and its local partner Ndéyi Jirim initiated a pilot called Project for Strengthening the Local Economy Through Access to Medical Insurance and SILC, or Projet d’Assurance et de Renforcement de l’Economie Locale (PAREL). 

PAREL signifies “be prepared” in Wolof, the most commonly spoken language in Senegal, and serves the dual purpose of calling on communities to take ownership of the initiative and play an active role in preventing disease. Working hand in hand with the Government of Senegal’s (GoS') Agency for Universal Health Coverage (ACMU), this project was initiated with nearly $75,000 from CRS private funds towards the newly launched ACMU strategy. Leveraging existing CRS Savings and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) in the project area, the pilot aims to improve access to health services and strengthen prevention behaviors among vulnerable populations through health mutuals, which are comprised of and managed by volunteer community members.

The general objective of PAREL is to help expand CMU in Senegal by engaging SILC groups. In order to achieve this goal, the PAREL project set five specific objectives to gauge progress. Specifically, through the PAREL project, CRS aims to: 

  •  Adapt and promote the ACMU health insurance approach to improve the social and economic conditions of the most vulnerable through access to affordable health care.
  • Help and encourage vulnerable populations to subscribe to community health insurance options through awareness-raising and basic education on the costs and benefits of the ACMU’s subsidized health insurance options.
  • Leverage existing CRS SILC groups and Private Service Providers (PSPs) as key influencers in raising community awareness about CMU, serving as early adopters in CMU registration.
  • Reinforce the financial and organizational systems and structures of health mutuals to ensure quality services and adequate coverage for registered members.
  • Inspire a long-term commitment to community health insurance for members of SILC groups and the general population.