Friday November 16, 2018

Women entrepreneurs bring medical aid to your home

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women entrepreneurs
Image source: healthcare-in-india.net
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New Delhi: India’s fast growing healthcare sector with widening e-commerce space is witnessing a sprouting growth of women entrepreneurs, providing medical aid at your doorstep.

Aiming at making healthcare easily accessible at your doorstep, many app-based startups like Care24, ePsyclinic and Pluss are sprouting up. The common factor that binds them is that they are all founded and managed by women entrepreneurs.

“Healthcare is an area that has immense growth potential and it’s an immensely gratifying industry both from the growth perspective as well as from satiating an entrepreneur’s need to do good and serve,” CEO and founder of ePsyclinic Shipra Dawar told reporters on the reason behind starting a healthcare startup.

Madhulika Pandey, co-founder of Pluss, voices similar thoughts about profits with purpose.

“The health products market is expected to grow at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 15 percent and touch 10 lakh crore ($155 billion) by 2017. We believe that solving the problem of medicine procurement is an opportunity worth working on,” said Pandey.

These apps provide affordable healthcare assistance within the comforts of home. Care24 offers skilled and experienced nurses, attendants, caregivers, physiotherapists, maids, and ward boys.

ePsyClinic is an online emotional, relational & mental well-being start-up providing video/audio/chat functionality as well as a plethora of articles and real-time shareable self-help tools for well-being seekers.

Pluss offers delivery of medicines, baby care product, daily essentials, Ayurveda drugs, pet care requirements and healthcare devices.

These healthcare startups aim to change the way healthcare is delivered in India, making it affordable and accessible without competing with the traditional methods.

“Medical aid will always be provided in a traditional way. The doctor will need to interact with the patient to ascertain his condition but the point after which the patient leaves the doctor’s room, he can rely on startups like us to get his medicines, healthcare products and book diagnostic tests with just a touch of the button,” said Pandey.

Dawar says that startups support and complement traditional set ups. “Our aim is never to replace them but enable the larger healthcare infrastructure to function effectively and solve its last mile issues.”

Changing lifestyles and round-the-clock work patterns may also be the reason behind people opting for healthcare startups, say the entrepreneurs.

“We bring innovation, we are modern. We let clients and patients have control over many processes while also servicing superior health outcomes,” Dawar said. Further, timely delivery of medicines is being seen as a major advantage.

Was the road to a healthcare startup easy for these women entrepreneurs?

“People have opened their minds to the possibility of women entrepreneurs. The increasing list of women entrepreneurs is bringing confidence to aspiring women as well,” Garima Tripathi of Care24 says.

The challenges they faced were also the ones their male counterparts would face.

“The major hurdle that I faced was initially building up a credible healthcare team. Healthcare professionals are hard to be convinced to try something different. But with persuasion, right offering and approach, I was successful,” responded Dawar.(IANS)

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Lack of Proper Sanitation Affects 620 Million Children Around The World: Report

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period.

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A new toilet recently installed in a Rohingya refugee camp in Bangladesh. VOA

A lack of proper school toilets threatens the health, education and safety of at least 620 million children around the world, the charity WaterAid said in a new study published Friday.

Children at 1 in 3 schools lack access to proper toilets, putting them at risk of diarrhea and other infections and forcing some to miss lessons altogether, according to the study, based on data from 101 countries.

Guinea-Bissau in West Africa has the worst school toilets while Ethiopian children fare worst at home, with 93 percent of homes lacking a decent toilet according to the report, released ahead of World Toilet Day on Monday.

toilets, students
Students arrive for class at the Every Nation Academy private school in the city of Makeni in Sierra Leone, April 20, 2012. VOA

“The message here is that water and sanitation affect everything,” WaterAid spokeswoman Anna France-Williams told the Thomson Reuters Foundation. “If there’s no toilet in schools, children will miss lessons and it will have an impact on their growing up.”

Diarrhea, infection risk

A lack of proper sanitation puts millions of children around the world in danger of diarrhea, which kills 289,000 children younger than 5 a year, WaterAid said.

But some regions have started to clean up their act, notably South Asia, where access to toilets in schools has improved.

More than half the schools in Bangladesh now have access to decent toilets, while students in 73 percent of schools in India and 76 percent of those in Bhutan can access basic sanitation.

Akramul Islam, director of water, sanitation and hygiene at the Bangladeshi charity BRAC, said the country’s once-high levels of open defecation — using open ground rather than toilets — were now less than 1 percent.

toilets, studentsac
India’s plight in sanitation has not improved much since ages.
Pixabay

“Today, schools have separate toilets for girls and boys and the issue of menstrual hygiene is also being addressed,” he said. “This has happened because of initiatives taken by both the government, the NGOs and other stakeholders.”

Also Read: 3 HIV+ Students Banned From School in Indonesia

Improvement needed

Despite the improvements, more than a third of the girls in South Asia miss school for one to three days a month during their period, WaterAid said, urging greater investment in basic sanitation.

“If we are serious about all children and young people, wherever they are, whatever their gender, physical ability or community background, having their right to clean water and sanitation, we must take decisive and inclusive action now,” said Chief Executive Tim Wainwright. (VOA)