Paper

Microfinance as a Tool for Financing Medical Devices in Syria: An Assessment of Needs and a Call for Further Research

Using microfinance as a tool to support the disabled
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This paper demonstrates the need for microfinance to fund poor people’s medical equipment in Syria.

The paper analyzes the need for microfinance to finance wheelchairs for patients with walking disability and oxygen concentrators for patients with chronic lung diseases. Interviews indicate that:

  • 82% patients with walking disability and 78% with chronic lung diseases do not have health insurance;
  • Interviewees were aware of microfinance programs, but had little or no access to them;
  • 24% patients with walking disability and 22% patients with chronic lung diseases were microfinance borrowers;
  • 90% of patients with walking disability and 73% of patients with chronic lung stated that they could generate income if they could buy a wheelchair or an oxygen concentrator.

Most patients with walking disability and chronic lung disease believed that microfinance could finance their medical devices and that they could pay back in instalments, demonstrating microfinance’s potential to fund poor people’s medical equipment in Syria. The paper suggests that the Syrian government could support the start-up needs of such a program.