At the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting in New York City today,
Dr. Muhammad Yunus, alongside President William Jefferson Clinton,
announced the launch of the Grameen Nurse Institute, a new social
business-based health care model that prioritizes girls’ health and
prosperity as fundamental to ensuring the health of future generations
and accelerating economic progress.
This new vision of health for girls disrupts the current health care
marketplace in Bangladesh with a new approach to health education and
service. This financially sustainable and replicable model will help
ensure that the health needs of the hardest-to-reach girls are met,
while providing a pathway to labor-market opportunity.
Specifically, the Grameen Nurse Institute will both benefit girls – as
recipients of health care services and information – and position them
as the future health care workforce by:
1. addressing the shortage of nurses through innovative teaching
techniques and recruitment of rural young women,
2. creating a first-of-its-kind curriculum focused on the unique health
needs of adolescent girls, and
3. creating a sustainable social business model with nurses as the
central actors of the health care system.
"The health of girls and women is a true indicator of the health of a
nation and of the next generation. If girls and women are not healthy,
we are all at a disadvantage,” said Professor Muhammad Yunus, founder
and managing director of Grameen Bank. "Girls have been invisible to the
health care system far too long; they must be at the center of it. By
engaging girls and young women to provide quality health care for those
around them, we can address girls’ health needs while creating
productive livelihoods and a healthier society overall.”
In Bangladesh, 64 percent of girls are married before age 18. In
addition, more than 1 million girls give birth each year. Compounding
these issues, there are currently three times as many doctors as nurses.
The majority of doctors are located in urban areas, leaving significant
gaps in service delivery based on both location (urban vs. rural) and
culture (given cultural issues associated with a male thoroughly
treating a female). As a result, 90 percent of births are delivered at
home and more than 15 percent involve serious complications.
"We are excited to support the Grameen Nurse Institute, a breakthrough
social business model that could transform the health care industry by
positioning girls as not just the beneficiaries of services, but the
agents of future change,” said Lisa MacCallum, Managing Director of the
Nike Foundation. "In our work so far at the Nike Foundation, we have
learned that if you start with a girl, everyone else benefits: boys,
women, men also. That’s the power of the girl effect.”
The Institute is a prototype for a chain of future nursing colleges
located in most district towns of Bangladesh. Importantly, nursing
provides a viable career path for rural adolescent girls that is driven
by strong, unmet market demand. The Institute will offer different types
of degrees to expand the supply of nurse practitioners. Grameen Bank
will supply educational loans and an infrastructure/outreach network to
recruit candidates. As a starting point, the daughters of Grameen's 7.6
million clients will be recruited as new students.
An existing network of Health Management Centers will serve as the
primary means for employing graduated nurses, who will ultimately manage
the Centers. These will be the focal point of rural health service as
centers of primary diagnostics, early detection and prevention,
awareness building, and a link between urban doctors and rural patients.
As nurses expand their practices, they will recruit older girls from
rural villages and train them to serve as health extension workers with
a specific focus on the needs of adolescent girls. These practitioners
will provide house-to-house diagnostic and awareness services using
mobile diagnostic tools.
The Nurse Institute supports the recommendations of a new health agenda
developed by the Center for Global Development with funding from the
Nike Foundation and Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Start with a
Girl: A New Agenda for Global Health offers substantive
recommendations to the global health community that are designed to have
transformative impact on both the healthcare landscape for girls and the
economic well-being of their communities. Professor Yunus serves as a
key advisor to the Agenda.
The Nurse Institute expects to train 1,251 students, reaching 50,000
adolescent girls in rural villages. The Nike Foundation will support the
Institute with an initial $2 million in funding over five years.
About Grameen Healthcare
Grameen Healthcare aims to establish a sustainable health system in
Bangladesh that will serve the health needs of all Bangladeshi income
levels with low cost and high quality health care. Grameen Healthcare
will design low-cost, affordable health services for all of Bangladesh,
especially the lowest income women and children, and sustain these
services thru social business. In addition to existing social business
partnerships with Danone and Veolia, Grameen Healthcare has recently
announced partnerships with Pfizer, GE Healthcare, and the Mayo Clinic.
Grameen Healthcare continues to gather more new and innovative partners
committed to harness best practices to build sustainable business models
that can meet the unmet health needs of the poor in Bangladesh.
About the Nike Foundation, NIKE, Inc. and the NoVo Foundation
The Nike Foundation (www.nikefoundation.org)
invests exclusively in adolescent girls as the most powerful force for
change and poverty alleviation in the developing world. The Foundation’s
investments are designed to get girls on the global agenda and drive
resources to them. The work of the Nike Foundation is supported by NIKE,
Inc. and the NoVo Foundation, a collaboration that has significantly
broadened the impact of the Girl Effect.
girleffect.org tells the story of girls creating a ripple impact
of social and economic change on their families, communities and nations.
The work of the Girl Effect is driven by girl champions
around the globe. The Nike Foundation created the Girl Effect
with critical financial and intellectual contributions by the NoVo
Foundation and NIKE, Inc. and in collaboration with key partners such as
the United Nations Foundation and the Coalition for Adolescent Girls.