According to a 2022 George Washington University School of Business article, an entrepreneurial mindset capable of applying analytical tools is key to innovations in health care and primarily those relevant to technology. The emergence of COVID-19 is one among many instances that highlights the importance of entrepreneurship and innovation in relieving the world from soaring economic costs, especially since the pandemic cost the U.S. economy more than $202 billion alone. Here are some examples of organizations that show how entrepreneurship protects human health.
Around 75% of Rwanda’s population is unable to access clean floors, which facilitates the prevalence of parasites and bacteria among the general population, and subsequently, undermines public health. In Rwanda, diarrhea claims the lives of 1.8 million people each year as a direct symptom of dirty floors, especially as many households do not assume the financial capability to renovate their floors.
To strengthen Rwanda’s health care system, EarthEnable, a for-profit hybrid organization in Rwanda has adopted earthen floors as an affordable and sustainable solution to dirty floors. Earthen floors consist of domestically sourced natural materials containing water, clay, sand and laterite, collectively forming a durable surface. While some people enjoy free access to the latter, others must pay $63 for the average household of 25 square meters. Payments occur over three installments to tailor for different financial circumstances.
In the first quarter of 2022, EarthEnable installed kempt floors totaling 376,080.85 square meters, demonstrating its impact across approximately more than 14,987 households and paralleling benefits to 62,944 individuals. While the organization currently operates in 20 different Rwandan districts, plans for further expansions are due to take place in 2022-2023. Such entrepreneurship protects human health and allows Rwanda’s population to lead a prosperous life.
Innovations in Health Care
Inclined to support health-related innovations, Innovations in Healthcare devoted its operations to finding solutions to current healthcare challenges since its inception in 2011. Assistance from the World Economic Forum, Duke Medicine and Mckinsey & Company, facilitated research and development before the nonprofit’s launch.
The organization’s 100+ global network of innovator organizations work to supplement access to inexpensive and high-quality health care. Entrepreneurs with competitive innovations undergo selection to join the innovators’ network and benefit from the necessary guidelines to advance their work.
Innovations in Healthcare currently operates in more than 90 different countries, where the organization leads and supports a variety of programs. Accelerating Saving Lives at Birth is one such program, which focuses on empowering maternal and newborn health on the global level. With funding from USAID among five others, the program facilitated more than 50 innovations, seeking to accelerate the sustainability and effectiveness of saving lives as part of its birth portfolio.
The Making More Health Venture4Change is another program that seeks to bridge the gap between rural and urban areas by providing affordable hygiene solutions. By offering entrepreneurial training and utilizing students’ knowledge to develop the latter solutions, the program can implement eminent impact. This is especially important since more than 50% of the global population lack access to safe sanitation according to a UNICEF report.
Moving Mountains Kenya
Health care in Kenya suffers from an array of challenges, including inclined maternal and child deaths, and rampant levels of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis cases. A by-product of such health issues is increased social and economic burdens, evident in the fact that 83% of Kenyans lack the financial strength to meet health care costs, pushing an additional 1.5 million people into poverty per year.
Stimulated by the belief in improved health care for achieving equality, Moving Mountains works to lead and support programs and projects devoted to enhancing Kenya’s health care, in line with what the community and government deem suitable. The nonprofit has been operating in Kenya for 20+ years and its impact has extended across several communities, which their medical camps can demonstrate.
The organization’s medical camps aid the communities of either the highly populated and underprivileged Nyanza Province in western Kenya or rural communities near and within Embu town. In the camps, medical students and professionals work alongside Kenyan and public health staff to provide free-of-charge medical checkups, diagnoses, treatments and referrals to domestic hospitals for Kenyans. Each camp seeks to attain significant and tangible developmental impact, relying on process analysis to verify its influence.
Entrepreneurship protects human health through its ability to develop new ideas and solutions that cater to many health care challenges. Entrepreneurship is a significant component of the work of several nonprofits and for-profit organizations such as EarthEnable, Innovations in Healthcare and Moving Mountains.
̶ Noor Al-Zubi