Extending medical products and services to low-income Filipinos
Philippines-based Hapinoy has joined the Business Call to Action (BCtA) with a commitment to further expand its model Health Hub, a program that gives low-income neighborhoods access to a range of healthcare initiatives.
Hapinoy's vision is built on focusing on the important community role that these unique neighborhood stores (Sari-Sari stores) play in the local economy. By leveraging its strong network of these stores in over 100 communities in the Philippines, Hapinoy plans to educate and train more than 10,000 Sari-Sari store owners by 2015. The company also plans to reach an estimated 200,000 community residents and provide greater access to healthcare related goods and services, beginning with a range of affordable and quality over the counter medicines.
The new Health Hub is based on the existing company model in which basic goods and services are distributed through a network of women-owned and operated community stores. The stores play an important role in the community and are vital to information sharing and preventative health awareness.
Many of the women micro entrepreneurs, called Nanays (Nanay is the Filipino word for mother), receive training and access to micro financing, along with new business opportunities. The key components of the healthcare program are to use the retail operations as the starting point for the provision of healthcare and to educate and further empower store owners in rural communities.The health hub responds to the major problem in low-income areas of the Philippines, the limited availability, affordability and acceptance of healthcare products and services.
The model was tested as a pilot in 2010 after Hapinoy won an innovations grant and was able to partner with Unilab, a pharmaceutical company in the Philippines and the Philippine Pharmacists Association. Since then, the company has continued to train store owners, many of whom are women, in business management, personal development and the care and provision of healthcare products. A strategic partnership with RiteMed is also under way in order to expand the portfolio of healthcare products and services going into advocacy, affordable medicine, and services.
The Health Hub is part of the Hapinoy's commitment to empowering micro-entrepreneurs who are vital to the local community and the running of sari-sari stores. With about 800,000 stores in the country, these small sari-sari stores make up 30-40% of total retail sales in the Philippines.