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The Success of our Health For Life Program Receives Publication


We are excited to announce that last month our health program partner, Wuqu’ Kawoq/ Maya Health Alliance, published a case study in Healthcare journal about the success of the first 22 months of our Health For Life program and their partnership with Friendship Bridge (FB). This study was co-written by Wuqu’ Kawoq/ Maya Health Alliance and Friendship Bridge staff, including Friendship Bridge CEO, Karen Larson, and Wuqu’ Kawoq/ Maya Health Alliance Chief Medical Officer, Peter Roloff who is also on faculty at Harvard Medical School. The study offers details of how the program has rolled out, their data from the first 22 months of the program, and future plans for continued growth. Here we will give you a brief summary of the highlights of this publication, which is planned to be the first of several.

In July of 2015 FB partnered with Wuqu’ Kawoq | Maya Health Alliance to offer health services to our clients who were members of our Microcredit Plus program through our new Health For Life program. Wuqu’ Kawoq is a primary healthcare system providing services in rural Guatemalan communities. This partnership was formed by a shared interest in offering health services to underserved populations.

The Health For Life program improves women’s access to healthcare by providing health education, direct healthcare services, and access to other healthcare institutions to clients of Friendship Bridge. Friendship Bridge provides the institutional structure; trust relationships with nearly 22,000 clients; and financing for the initiative, while Wuqu’ Kawoq provides clinical services; trains and supervises primary healthcare providers; and conducts general monitoring and evaluation.

Through May 2017, more than 3,700 clients received healthcare services through the program. Participation in primary care screening services was very high. This has been the case even for cervical cancer screening at 76%. The national statistic shows that less than 50% of eligible women in the entire country receive cervical cancer screening, with even lower rates in rural areas at 37%.

One major highlight of this partnership is that once the program reaches its full-scale, it will represent one of the largest and most geographically extensive primary care databases in rural Guatemala, allowing Wuqu’ Kawoq to report on factors like obesity, diabetes, and cervical cancer, all major public health issues in Guatemala. This was possible only through this partnership and Friendship Bridge opening up a large demographic of clients to health services that had not been accessible to Wuqu’ Kawoq before.

For future plans we are continuing to grow the program until all of our 7 administrative areas and 22,000 clients are covered in Guatemala.

You can read the case study in its entirety at https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2213076417301690.