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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 a local partner are expanding universal health coverage in Senegal by engaging savings groups. 

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 Agency for Universal Health Coverage, this project was initiated with nearly $75,000 from CRS private funds towards the newly launched government strategy. Leveraging existing CRS savings groups funded by the MasterCard Foundation in the project area, the pilot aims to improve access to health services and strengthen prevention behaviors among vulnerable populations through health mutuals run by volunteer community members.To gauge progress, the project uses five objectives: 

  • Adapt and promote the government's 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 subsidized health insurance options.
  • Leverage existing CRS savings groups as key influencers in raising community awareness about universal health coverage, serving as early adopters in 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 savings groups and the general population.