Power of One - Health For All

Who can best create outcomes that lead to the healthiest possible lives of individuals and communities?

To answer this question and support achieving these outcomes, leading social entrepreneurs are challenging the traditional patient-provider dynamics from an empathetic and holistic perspective. Addressing health sector challenges with a human-centered perspective, Ashoka Fellows form increasingly intimate insights. They know that the way forward is not only focusing on the inherent complexities, but in utilizing their strengths.

The preeminent strength? The individual. So Fellows shift the power to each of them. Co-designing, co-creating and co-owning health services takes everyone’s power into consideration and leads to an increasingly effective and scalable system of health.

Below is a collection of stories and profiles of Ashoka Fellows who are at the heart of these efforts. From mental to maternal health and from prevention through rehabilitation, they are turning the traditional patient-provider model upside-down; smashing inefficient or nonexistent systems; putting people and communities in charge of their own healthcare, leading to better outcomes and increased productivity; and providing roles for everyone to be a changemaker in their own lives and in their communities. The resulting, more equitable and representative models are creating an ecosystem that ignites the power of one to bring health to all.  

Additionally, we ask you to support Ashoka so that we can continue to find and support these innovative and visionary entrepreneurs.  Thank you for your generous support.

Related TopicsChildren & Youth Youth leadership Civic Engagement Health & Fitness Health care Infant health Maternal health Mental health Nutrition Social Entrepreneurship


Ashoka Fellow Martin Aufmuth's One Dollar Glasses

Add up the cost of steel wire, polycarbonate lenses, heat shrink tubing, transportation, shipping, personnel management, and spare parts. For Martin Aufmuth’s Ein Dollar Brille (“One Dollar Glasses”), it equals less than $1 USD. This cost, however, is hardly reflective of the value someone suffering from myopia, short or farsightedness, gains with a perfectly fitted pair of glasses.

Abla Al Alfy & Her Mother-Centric Approach to Infant Development

Pediatrician and neonatologist, Dr. Abla Al Alfy was frustrated by the pattern of inefficiency in the hospitals of her training. Too many new mothers returned home with infants before having received proper information around optimizing their child’s health. This information gap contributed to the 21 percent of Egyptian children suffering stunted development.

Sylvia Banda: Growing Local Food Systems & Training Female Farmers

When Ashoka Fellow Sylvia Banda grew tired of her office job, she called in sick and started cooking. Without money to buy ingredients or updated cooking ware, she used what was already in her kitchen and let the aroma of the Zambian staples lure in customers. There was nowhere to sit. But the customers continued to come. Soon after, Sylvia opened her catering business.

Hilmi Quraishi & Philips Foundation Accelerate Health for All

It began with the game of cricket and cell phones. Hilmi Quraishi recognized that together, cricket— the most popular sport in India—and cell phones, in the hands of 650 million Indians, could become a powerful health tool.

In 2005, this observation led him to develop “Freedom HIV/AIDS.” A set of games rooted in cricket that pass information about AIDS via cell phones to subscribers saw more than 10 million unique downloads within the first year.

Bina Nepram: Her Continued Path Through Exile

“Don’t ask any questions. You’ll be shot dead.” This is a common refrain in Manipur state in India, where Ashoka Fellow Binalakshmi (Bina) Nepram grew up. Yet Bina asked questions. And despite currently living in exile, she continues to ask with conviction.

Maternal Health Solutions - Prasanta Kishore Tripathy

The first 28 days of a newborn’s life are critical. Forty-five percent of global, under-five deaths happen during this period with an average of 7,000 newborn deaths every day. These four weeks after an infant’s first breath are additionally challenging for mothers who experience 830 deaths a day due to related complications. In total, these weeks amount to nearly 3,000,000 women and newborn deaths around the world.

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