The App to Make Medicine Affordable

Curated Story
Jokko Sante
This article originally appeared on Medium

One day after the birth of his first child, Adama Kane stared into his medicine cabinet, which was stocked with unused drugs, most expired and never to be used. He knew plenty of people who could have used them.

Previously an ice cream salesman, fish merchant, tailor, and engineer, Adama had been a resourceful entrepreneur since he was a kid. And as he peered into the cabinet, Adama suddenly saw a solution to one of Senegal’s most daunting health-care problems: access to prescription medicine.

Most people in Senegal struggle to find or afford necessary prescription medicine. Prescription medication accounts for over half of nationwide health-related spending. Just 20 percent of the population has medical coverage. To afford medicine, many have to cut other expenses, like food and school fees. Government efforts to improve access have been thwarted by corruption and red tape.

Adama’s solution: an online platform that connects the Senegalese people with the medications they need. Users collect points on the mobile platform, JokkoSanté, by donating unused medicine and redeeming their points later to purchase new medicines. They can also purchase points at pharmacies, whether for themselves or family members, to use towards medicine.

Adama Kane

Ashoka Fellow since Aug 2016

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Ashoka insight

JokkoSanté is creating a preventive-medicine platform that keeps minor illnesses from becoming more serious conditions affecting peoples’ education and ability to work. No longer trapped by their biggest medical burden, families can free up savings. The platform’s transparency and ease of use also helps curb corruption, counterfeit drugs, and illegal drug sales.