Zeena Johar

Ashoka Fellow


This profile was prepared when Zeena Johar was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
Zeena believes that primary care in India requires a sustainable solution to ensure that trained medical practitioners are available in the most remote areas. To provide proper care, rural doctors require readily accessible information and technology infrastructure. To tie all of these elements together, Zeena has created a rural health enterprise that acts as a gate keeper by proactively identifying and addressing a wide scope of health issues in the closest proximity to patients and at the lowest cost.

To address the absence of doctors in rural areas, Zeena is tapping into a large pool of trained traditional medicine practitioners that are already available in rural areas. To be able to recruit them as physicians, Zeena developed a new concept in the country that qualifies them for allopathic practice. To ensure consistent positive health outcomes, the work of the doctor is governed by specific treatment protocols. To provide quality services and to enable remote monitoring at every stage, from registering patients to follow-ups, the entire process is bound together through a technological platform. The clinic also conducts population level screenings for the early identification of diseases and provides on-going medical support for pregnant women, and people with chronic conditions, among other groups.

By implementing all of these solutions, Zeena is setting a new standard for comprehensive primary care in rural areas. Presently, the government is the single largest provider of primary care, but farsighted private players are beginning to see this critical market as an opportunity. In this context, the solutions developed by Zeena become tools that show others the how to’s of providing quality primary care. Zeena is in the process of building several partnerships to implement her strategies through citizen organizations (COs), companies, and the government.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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