Promoting health knowledge through micro-credit programmes: experience of BRAC in Bangladesh

Health Promot Int. 2001 Sep;16(3):219-27. doi: 10.1093/heapro/16.3.219.


This paper aims to assess the contribution of the micro-credit programme in raising health knowledge among poor women in rural Bangladesh. Data were collected from the 1998 sample survey of 500 mothers aged 15-49 years who had at least one child aged <5 years. Findings revealed that the socio-demographic factors such as the age of the woman, land ownership of the family and occupation of husband had no association with the prevalence of maternal knowledge. The knowledge was much greater among credit forum participants than non-participants, although exposure to the media and the education of women had also played a significant role in raising the level of knowledge. Multivariate analysis suggested that the duration of credit programme participation and exposure to the media were significantly more likely to raise the health knowledge among women when the influence of demographic and socio-economic factors were controlled. The paper concludes that the micro-credit programme can be an effective tool in promoting health among poor women in Bangladesh.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Bangladesh
  • Educational Status
  • Female
  • Health Education / methods*
  • Health Education / organization & administration*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Middle Aged
  • Multivariate Analysis
  • Population Surveillance
  • Postnatal Care* / psychology
  • Postnatal Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Poverty
  • Prenatal Care* / statistics & numerical data
  • Rural Population / statistics & numerical data*
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Women / education*
  • Women / psychology
  • Women's Health