Twenty-seven rural women groups on Thursday graduated from a 12-month susu and internal lending training, under the Susu and Internal Lending Communities (SILC) scheme, at Awaradono in the Talensi Nabdam District.
The SILC is under the Community Initiative on Maternal Child and New Born Survival (CIMACS).
The Awaradone women group numbering about 540 and predominantly rural women, took home amounts between GH¢700.00 and GH¢200.00 being their own savings during the past 12 months.
The initiative is a savings led micro-finance methodology to help improve livelihood of women by creating accessible, transparent and flexible savings terms, to enable women, especially pregnant women, to have access to finance for their health needs and undertake identifiable income generating activities.
The self-managed savings are run by members belonging to same groups within communities.
It was introduced by the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) incorporated under CIMACS in collaboration with the Ghana Health Service (GHS) to improve maternal, child and neonatal survival in areas where it operated.
Mr Robert Asambobillah, Program Officer of SILC, said many rural women shy away from accessing health services because of lack of money.
He said the incorporation of SILC into CIMACS in the communities helped to increase beneficiaries’ financial assets from their savings, which supported these households to afford transportation cost and basic needs during delivery of pregnant women.
Introduced in 2009, Mr Asombobilla said CIMACS exceeded its clientele base in the Talensi-Nabdan district by 42.2 per cent constituting 1,825 members.
He said that the integration of CIMACS and SILC had resulted in an increase in the number of mothers who reported for prenatal care during the first trimester of pregnancy by 52.3 per cent.
Mr Asombobilla said 68 per cent of women who were delivered of babies at health facilities or skilled attendance delivery as compared to 30 per cent in 2009.
Handing over beneficiaries’ share of the susu to them, Mr Asombilla asked the women to identify, undertake and invest in good ventures that would bring improvement in their lives and those of their families.
Ms Felicia Martey, a Midwife at the Awaradone Community Clinic, took the women through various contraceptive methods, and asked men who belonged to the SILC programme, to encourage their wives and women in their communities to patronize family planning services.
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