On Sunday, 13 October IHCO held the General Assembly in Kigali, Rwanda. At the gathering, the leaders of health cooperatives from the different countries shared their experiences and perspectives as to cooperative healthcare and the challenges for the future.
IHCO President Carlos Zarco raised the need to increase public awareness of the vital role played by cooperatives in health systems. In his report, Dr Zarco declared that IHCO must be a reference for all cooperatives working in the healthcare sector, as well as those organisations from other business sectors willing to extend their services to the health domain.
“We are making progress, but still have a long way to go. We need to convince governments and civil society of the potential that the cooperative enterprise model has in advancing towards the UN’s 2030 Agenda,” asserted Dr Zarco.
As well as reviewing the organisation’s activities and deciding on the cornerstones of the working plan for 2020, the members of the assembly ratified the joining as a member of the cooperative Lok Swasthya, based in the state of Gujarat in Western India.
Founded in 1990 with the support of the SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association), the cooperative provides services to some 600,000 people in the field of primary care, health education, and the distribution of pharmaceutical products and traditional ayurvedic Indian medicines.