Emmaus International

Le droit à la santé est un droit humain fondamental
Our policy
The right to health is a fundamental human right. Emmaus International supports an alternative system: mutual health schemes enabling people facing social exclusion to pool their resources and gain access to treatment.

Key issues

  • Every year, 100 million people worldwide fall below the poverty line as a result of their spending on healthcare (WHO 2013)
  • Health problems disproportionally affect people in vulnerable and marginalised social groups (WHO 2013)
  • Every day, up to 800 women die of complications relating to pregnancy or childbirth (WHO 2013)
  • The probability of dying before the age of five is 16 times more likely for children in low-income countries than in high-income countries (WHO 2013)


pilot action
Systèmes mutualistes de santé

Mutual health schemes

For several years, Emmaus International has been developing these schemes, which operate on the principle of solidarity, so resources are pooled. They are also run by the scheme’s members themselves. Eight Emmaus organisations in Africa (in Benin and Burkina Faso) have been involved since 2000 and two organisations in Asia (in India and Bangladesh) since 2008.


Global action


  • Asia: Tara Projects, India
    Hygiene and prevention, awareness-raising and medical camps
  • The Americas: Piura, Peru
    Physiotherapy centre
  • Africa: SEMUS, Burkina Faso
    Supporting AIDS sufferers
  • Europe: Emmaus Solidarité, France
    Medical appointments for homeless people
get involved





Point of view
Elisabeth Akpo, communauté Emmaüs de Tohoué

Elisabeth Akpo,
Emmaus Tohouè

“I’ve been a member of the Africa mutual health scheme in Benin since I arrived at the community in 2002. There are now over 600 members. I work to encourage members to get involved in decision-making. The scheme reimburses the cost of medication and surgery and all members of the community have cover, which means our families can also access treatment.”