Using Ethiopia’s Healthcare Gaps to Do Good and Make a Profit
Friday, April 4, 2014
For a while now, Magnetic Resonance Imaging or MRI scanners have typically been a luxury that both government and private hospitals in Ethiopia have struggled to afford to purchase for in-house use.
Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital with an ever-growing population of around 3.8 million, currently has only four stationary MRI scanners that provide services to 30 government and private hospitals, according to Zelalem Molla, a surgeon based in Addis Ababa.
Outside of the capital, only two MRI scanners exist. But the six scanners — in this Horn of Africa nation of some 92 million people — are old fashioned and far behind the technological curve in the West.
“It would be wrong to claim that the mobile MRI scanner would save lives,” says Zelalem, whose lunchtime chat with American entrepreneur Peter Burns III about the paucity of scanners sparked a business idea.