Integration of Microfinance Institutions and Health Programs in Northern Tanzania

J Kessy, S Msuya, D Mushi, B Stray-Pedersen, G Botten
Publication year: 

Integrating health-related services with microfinance programs have shown to improve health and income security. The steady expansion of Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) in Tanzania is evident, but there is inadequate information on their characteristics and integration with health programs. We conducted cross-sectional study among 101 MFIs in Moshi, Tanzania to examine their characteristics and integration with health programs All three categories of microfinance providers operated in the study area. Largest proportions were Village Community Banks (38.6%), Savings and Credit Cooperative Societies (34.6%) Formal banks represented the smallest proportions (17.5%). Financial-related services dominated, with none health education integration. Active borrowers were women, across all categories. The study concludes that there are many MFIs, funding several activities, but none of the institutions has an integrated health education package. Diversification of products especially health-related interventions is recommended.