Health education for microcredit clients in Peru: a randomized controlled trial

Rita Hamad1
Lia CH Fernald
Dean S Karlan

Background: Poverty, lack of female empowerment, and lack of education are major risk factors for childhood illness worldwide. Microcredit programs, by offering small loans to poor individuals, attempt to address the first two of these risk factors, poverty and gender disparity. They provide clients, usually women, with a means to invest in their businesses and support their families. This study investigates the health effects of also addressing the remaining risk factor, lack of knowledge about important health issues, through randomization of members of a microcredit organization to...

Microcredit participation and nutrition outcomes among women in Peru

Lia Fernald
Rita Hamad

Microcredit services-the awarding of small loans to individuals who are too poor to take advantage of traditional financial services-are an increasingly popular scheme for poverty alleviation. Several studies have examined the ability of microcredit programmes to influence the financial standing of borrowers, but only a few studies have examined whether the added household income improves health and nutritional outcomes among household members. This study examined the hypothesis that longer participation in microcredit services would be associated with better nutritional status in women....