Waleed Shawky

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013
Medicine for All


This profile was prepared when Waleed Shawky was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Waleed has created a community-based system to collect, sort, and distribute medicine to low-income families in Egypt using medicine wasted by affluent households, pharmacies, and pharmaceutical companies. Waleed’s organized, professional, and fluid system counters ineffective public health insurance policies, which do not cover the cost of medicine for its patients. Thus, he is addressing a pressing need by implementing the first organized, non-profit model addressing this issue, while planning for long-term public health policy reform. In a data-poor country, Waleed’s documentation at all steps of the process—with advanced pharmaceutical software—provides an essential wealth of missing knowledge that can be used as a solid resource for policy reform and regulatory changes in pharmaceutical companies and public health insurance.

Waleed has designed a system that reduces waste, while also improving quality, efficiency, and equity in its ingenious distribution of medicine among needy patients in Egypt. Over the last seven years, he has developed a model to effectively implement his idea of redistributing resources. Its interlinked series of processes add value at every stage. Waleed relies on a steady flow of specialized volunteers and a self-sufficient, zero-waste strategy with no exchange of money or dependence on charity or external support. However, he established purposeful partnerships with citizen organizations (COs) who have direct access and connections to needy communities in their areas, who can benefit from this service. In addition to COs, Waleed targets all relevant stakeholders which includes the sources of waste (i.e. households, pharmaceutical companies, and pharmacies) as well as pharmacy students, and needy households. He is currently working in Egypt with plans to spread to other Arab countries.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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