Medical Entrepreneurship in Sudan – A New Movement to Accelerate Cures
As one of the developing countries, Sudan has just emerged from a protracted period of conflicts that has brought disaster on its people, directly and indirectly. While some areas have witnessed war, others have suffered from the strain of hosting displaced populations. Others have been affected as a result of the diversion of resources meant for development.
Just like many other developing countries, Sudan has not yet gone through the demographic and epidemiological transitions. Its epidemiological profile is still largely dominated by communicable diseases, most of which are common diseases that can be prevented and/or treated at a relatively low cost and using relatively simple strategies. However, certain problems, like malnutrition and tropical diseases, are of a magnitude, often reaching crisis proportions rarely seen in more stable situations. Social dislocation caused by conflicts are obvious risk factors for further spread of diseases, and very high prevalence has been found among some higher risk groups.
Sudan is also distinguished by its exposure to a host of other “classic” tropical diseases, many of which have largely been controlled in other countries.
Startup Weekend Health – Wad Medani is a new movement to accelerate cure, change and empower the access to health for all. This Startup Weekend puts the spotlight on health because it offers both huge challenges in our society as well as great business potential. Our goal is to bring together the healthcare community, designers, IT professionals and entrepreneurs to facilitate the formation of new ideas.
We aspire to overcome the challenges of the health system in Sudan, ranging from the high burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases to economic constraints, poverty, regional disparities and climatic factors resulting in natural disasters.
The control of communicable diseases represents a major challenge to those providing healthcare services in Sudan. Still, the health situation in Sudan includes even more major obstacles, such as:
1. Basic Infrastructure and Services
2. Food Security
3. Chronic Conflict
5. Rural-Urban Migration
6. Geography and Ecology
7. Economic Disparities between Urban and Rural Areas
In addition, the event was meant to be oriented to solve medical education and medical practice difficulties in Sudan.
Scoop of the Event:
Startup Weekend Health – Wad Medani was held on the 4th, 5th and 6th of August 2016 at the Cultural Palace Main Hall of Wad Medani and the buildings of Wad Medani College of Medical Science and Technology (MST). We want to give many thanks to our Sponsors, MST and National Health Insurance, for their kind endorsement and generous support of entrepreneurship in healthcare and medicines. Thanks to them, we were able to accomplish our mission of branding the concept of entrepreneurship in healthcare and medicine in Sudan and the region.
There were more than 30 projects with wide, multi-disciplinary areas of experience; there were doctors, medical students, engineers, IT experts, etc. There were about 40 participants with different skill sets, including IT, finance, marketing, medicine and healthcare. By the end of the final pitches on the first day of the event, only 10 projects continued on to form teams.
The second day was very exciting. Participants were still committed and beyond determined to continue the competition thanks to the kind support and help from our couches and mentors. The day was full of emotions, enthusiasm, great challenges and fulfillment of doing something great. These entrepreneurs organized together to change their simple ideas to realistic projects, creating tangible improvements in the medical industry in Sudan and the region as a whole.
Safer Life – a project aimed towards ending poor drug interactions by doing proper counseling for patients.
Mobile Salon – a project oriented to stop spreading barbers-borne diseases.
SudaCare – a project oriented to support spreading medical knowledge for citizens.
LifeLine – a project aimed to deliver healthcare services to homes with very little cost.
Smart Stick – aims to support blind patients and provide them with a better quality of life with a smart, cost effective stick.
Deliver Life – a project supporting blood donations.
Mairood – a project for smart, fast health solutions and support.
4 Clicks – a project supporting ICU rooms’ connections between hospitals to be reached easier during emergencies.
On the third and final day, in the competitive atmosphere, all participants were very excited to see the winners. The Smart Stick team took home first place, while the second and third places winners were 4 Clicks and Mairood.
We are so happy to fuel the spread of entrepreneurship in the healthcare and medicinal industry in Sudan, influencing the youth, doctors, professors and medical field students. We fully support the movement for better care, with cost effective practices that support our poor societies using inexpensive technology. Although we have taken a step in the right direction, we need the push to continue in innovation and entrepreneurship in this field – fueling more innovative projects that will accelerate cures for our society and the World.
– Anmar Homeida
For highlights of the 1st and 2nd days:
Twitter account : @swwadmedani