UCADE operates a credit association and utilizes monthly repayment meetings (conducted in rural churches, community centers, or in the home of one of the clients) to provide health care and health education.
Education: Healthcare personnel conduct informative sessions and training during the repayment meetings through the use of training modules and illustrative materials. The modules themselves are very easy to conduct and are specially designed to address the type of population being served. The main subjects touched upon include: women’s health, family health, prevention, nutrition, and personal rights.
Health Centers: Primary care services are provided which include blood, urine, and fecal exams, mammograms, and prostate exams. Centers are also able to provide rapid diagnostics for uterine and breast cancer. These services are available to the entire community at low-cost, and microfinance clients receive even greater discounts. The utilization of these services by clients is voluntary; at present between 35 and 40% of clients use the services. In some cases the services are provided by those directly affiliated with UCADE, and in others are provided through third-party contracts between UCADE and public or private healthcare institutions.
Mobile Clinics: UCADE is also implementing mobile brigades, which consist of buses equipped with medication, equipment and a team of doctors and nurses which visit various communities. They had previously conducted a survey of communities without access to hospitals and plan their visits based on community demand and following a feasibility and cost evaluation. The medical brigades also provide educative services, and remain for 2 or 3 days in each community. They provide services to all communities and not only those affiliated with the church.
UCADE covers the majority of their costs through cross-subsidies in which interest rates charged credit borrowers subsidize education and health services. Additional funding is received through donors and external projects.