By Jen Banks
Online presence for internationally supported research aiming to strengthen healthcare provision in Africa Cooperating for Health – a research initiative to assess the potential of health co-ops in Kenya and Cameroon – has launched the website cooperatingforhealth.org.
The website is part of the second phase of the project, designed to strengthen health service provision through co-operatives. This is in line with the World Health Organization’s campaign for universal health coverage, and the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The research looks at co-ops and other member organisations in various sectors that are extending their services into healthcare and health promotion. It hopes to demonstrate the worth of the model and highlights the success of several existing ventures in Central and South America.
Funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the bilingual project (in French in Cameroon and in English in Kenya) is underpinned by international and local partnerships in both countries.
Alongside the project, the International Health Cooperative Organization (IHCO) has agreed to take the lead in globally mapping different co-operative models and their contribution to provision of public health awareness and UHC.
A parallel project to assess the viability of a virtual platform set up by the IHCO and the Espriu Foundation in Spain has been funded by the SDC. It is hoped the platform will showcase the expertise, knowhow and resources of existing health co-operatives that could be approached by the promoters of new health co-ops.
Cooperating for Health has a wide range of partners including the Cooperatives Unit of the International Labour Organization, NorWest Co-op Community Health (Winnipeg, Canada) and LPS Productions (Montreal).