Bi-Weekly Checkup (4/11/13): A Tale of Two Students – or, what I wish I would’ve done in college
When I was a sophomore in college, I spent much of my free time seeking innovative ways to acquire beer without an ID.
When Jennifer Staple-Clark was a sophomore at Yale, she spent her free time establishing an innovative non-profit called Unite for Sight. Since then, the organization has grown from a dorm room-based student group serving local eye patients to a world-renowned NGO, serving 1,500,000 patients and facilitating over 63,000 sight-restoring surgeries.
The lesson here is clear: focus your energy on something that matters and there’s no limit to the impact you can make.
Unite for Sight’s impact has gone beyond eye care – it also organizes an annual Global Health & Innovation Conference, which has become the world’s largest global health and social entrepreneurship event.
The 2013 conference takes place this weekend, and NextBillion Health Care is a media partner. So I’ll be covering the event with live Tweets from the conference, videos of some of its sessions, and interviews with several of its presenters. Look out for this content next week – and I hope to see some of you at the conference!
Meanwhile, here are some posts you may have missed from our past two weeks of global health coverage.
A harsh reality of global health is that the quality and supply of life-saving innovations exceeds the capacity of many health systems to deliver them. John Beale of VillageReach looks at the problem of limitations in health care infrastructure, and the role private enterprise can play in addressing them.
When people think of innovative health care business models that serve the poor, they often think of delivery or supply chain innovations. But there’s also a wealth of experimentation on the health financing side, from innovative micro-insurance to health saving programs and vouchers. Trevor Lewis of Results for Development Institute interviews Shelley Saxena, founder of Sevamob in India, which uses another innovation to help the poor pay for care: subscription fees.
After years of distrust of for-profit solutions, the Afghan government is now seeking to engage with emerging private health care providers, establishing a greater degree of cooperation between the public and private sectors. Rose Reis of CHMI interviews Dr. Omarzaman Sayedi of Futures Group about Afghanistan’s evolving health care market in this revealing Q&A.
As developing countries struggle with the growing problem of non-communicable diseases, it was great to see this year’s World Health Day focus on hypertension. But it’s far from clear whether the increased global attention on NCDs will improve BoP countries’ ability to address them. WDI’s Lisa Smith explores some potential solutions to the NCD dilemma.
Bridging the Gap with Early Capital for BoP Models: An impact evaluation of VisionSpring in El Salvador
Impact investors focus on directing capital to companies with proven business models that show historic returns and tangible impact. But there are plenty of early stage models with loads of impact potential but no proven results—and without investment this potential might remain unfulfilled. Carlued Leon of MANAUS Consulting highlights the potential impact of early capital through the example of VisionSpring.
Want Healthier Food? Pay Farmers to Manage Nutrient Flows: The movement toward “ecosystem services” compensation
Farmers have traditionally gotten paid simply for producing food. But in an age of global warming and ecosystem degradation, there’s a movement to pay farmers to control water flow, sequester carbon dioxide, and perform other “ecosystem services” on their property.
A new study by the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health (JHU) found that expanding access to health interventions through community health worker programs could save more than 3.6 million lives a year. This post from Ya’ir Aizenmann at Dalberg Global Development Advisors describes some of the stunning results these programs can deliver.