The village of Sadni Bata, situated in Gujarat (northern India), is so remote that it takes over an hour to reach from the nearest town. Many of the inhabitants have never seen a doctor before, and they lack access to basic healthcare services.
With 80% of the Indian population (of over 1 billion people) without any insurance protection from health risks, providing affordable healthcare in India for the financially vulnerable is an enormous task.
In October 2019 we visited a health camp in Sadni Bata organised by Uplift Mutuals, the Mumbai-based pioneer of a community-owned health microinsurance programme, for Uplift's policyholders/members who reside in the village.
In this short video, we interviewed three local leaders to discover the true impact the health camp is having to the low-income villagers of Sadni Bata.
Mr Kamleshbhai Bhikhubhai Bagul Sarpanch, a local village leader, said: “We are really remote due to the mountainous terrain here so the provision of the health camp is really valuable… I hope you will continue to provide services to our village.”
Uplift Mutuals has partnered with the Anarde Foundation (an NGO working to empower poor communities in rural Gujarat) to deliver the health camp.
Anarde Foundation leader, Chetan Bhai, explains how Uplift's health camps are organised and run in the village of Sadni Bata. “The first thing we do is inform all villagers about the health camp two to three days before it is due to take place. All of Uplift’s members work on farms so we arrange the timings of the camp around this.”
Mr Chetan Bhai continues: “We have two doctors with us, Dr Shivraj and Dr Swati. Men and children will go to Dr Shivraj and women will go to Dr Swati… The doctors will prescribe whatever medication the member needs.”
Dr Shivraj and Dr Swati were the first two doctors the majority of the villagers had come into contact with.
Visiting an Uplift Mutuals health camp in rural Gujarat (India)
Established in 2004, Uplift Mutuals has developed an entirely community-owned health risk model to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for its members. In addition to affordable health insurance, Uplift's members also have access to health camps with specialist doctors, discounted medicines, network service hospitals, and a 24x7 helpline.
The ICMIF Foundation is partnering with Uplift Mutuals to cover an additional 200,000 households from low-income communities (those who earn around USD 2-6 per day) with healthcare microinsurance over the next five years. The project with Uplift commenced in August 2016 and is being supported by Canadian cooperative insurer, The Co-operators, who have partnered with Uplift to provide both financial and technical assistance to this project.
This partnership is part of the ICMIF 5-5-5 Mutual Microinsurance Strategy which is a five year project based in five emerging market countries (Colombia, India, Kenya, the Philippines and Sri Lanka) and aims to provide 5 million households with insurance cover for the first time to reduce their risk of poverty. The intended beneficiaries of the 5-5-5 reside in poor communities, and the ultimate objective is to build long-term resilient and insurable populations. The governance of the 5-5-5 is overseen by the ICMIF Foundation, a registered charity in England and Wales formed by ICMIF in 2015. The 5-5-5 also specifically targets at least five of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).