Fellow Since 2003
Center for Development Services
This profile was prepared when Tandiar Mossaad was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Having practiced medicine for 15 years, Tandiar sees that the national healthcare system fails to deliver consistently high-quality care to patients. In fact, egregious errors are not uncommon: routine procedures may result in protracted illness, infection, or death. Recovering patients are tended to by demoralized nurses who are not trained to dress a wound, monitor for infection, or ease the emotional strain hospitalization brings to patients and their families. To improve healthcare in Egypt, Tandiar focuses on nurses, a tier of medical personnel absolutely critical to the delivery of care. She offers an accessible curriculum, provides on-the-job training and mentorship from seasoned nurses, and transforms the profession's negative image to attract the right people. Starting in one of the most challenged regions of the country, Tandiar has begun to show important results: smart, dedicated recruits now seek training because they see in nursing a respectable career opportunity. Building on this initial success, Tandiar works with citizen groups, doctors, and the Ministry of Health to institute important changes in national and regional practice.