Promoting Health Knowledge Through Micro-Credit Programmes: Experience of BRAC in Bangladesh

Assessing the contribution of micro credit programs in raising health knowledge

This paper is based on the premise that health knowledge of poor women in rural Bangladesh needs to be improved effectively. Drawing data from a 1998 survey, this study seeks to evaluate the factors that have a bearing on health knowledge among poor women. The variables that this analytical study considered were:

  • Exposure of women to mass media;
  • Participation of women in credit forums;
  • Age and education of women;
  • Occupation of the husband;
  • Land owned by the household.

The findings reveal that the prevalence of maternal knowledge was much greater among credit forum participants than non-participants, although exposure to the media and the education of women also played a significant role in raising the level of knowledge. The following socio-demographic factors had no association with the knowledge:

  • The age of the woman;
  • Land ownership of the family;
  • Occupation of husband.

Further, the paper points out that when the influence of demographic and socio economic factors are controlled, the factors that are significantly more likely to raise the health knowledge among women are:

  • Period of credit program participation;
  • Exposure to the media.

The paper concludes that the micro-credit program can be an effective tool in promoting health among poor women in Bangladesh.

About this Publication

By Hadi, A