Simon Kabore

Ashoka Fellow
Burkina Faso,
Fellow Since 2012
Réseau Accès aux Médicaments Essentiels (RAME)

Citation

This profile was prepared when Simon Kabore was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Simon is building a volunteer citizen movement to advance patients’ rights and dignified healthcare in West Africa. In a context where the quality of healthcare is inconsistent and most patients feel disempowered to ask for better healthcare, Simon enables people to improve the local and national healthcare system. He utilizes complementary approaches to first demystify healthcare laws and policies and then engages diverse actors to claim and ensure essential healthcare.

Through this movement, Simon educates the public to first understand their health rights and the commitments that have been made by their government. He utilizes a variety of approaches to reach a wide audience, including creative poster campaigns and public conversations with the government in the form of published letters in prominent national newspapers. Simon hosts a series of roundtable discussions with various populations—students, women, unions, religious leaders, journalists, and administrative officials—targeting his messaging to their perspective. After increasing awareness of how existing health policies affect their group, Simon mobilizes these populations to lobby the government for improved patients’ rights.

Simon mobilizes this newly educated public to take ownership of their health and ensure quality in local health clinics. He has created a communication system for healthcare accountability that bypasses existing power structures. Simon is initiating and mobilizing community health watchdog committees to verify that patient treatment and care at all levels—from national hospitals to remote village clinics—is fair, of high-quality and that national prices and policies are applied locally. These watchdog groups are formed of highly committed volunteers who understand the value of this work. They confidentially report any grievances and situations of malpractice to Simon’s organization. The organization then consolidates and synthesizes these cases and presents them to higher levels of the national health department for correction.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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