Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2012

Citation

This profile was prepared when Mohamed Zaazoue was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2012.
The New Idea
Mohamed is targeting all socioeconomic segments of Egyptian society with an approach that is less about combating any one specific disease, and more about moving Egyptians from the role of passive consumer of medicine to that of active health seeker. First, he has set off to make learning about preventive medicine interesting and user-friendly, recognizing the current perception that it is a tough and boring process to become aware of all of the various diseases and all of their corresponding symptoms and preventive measures. A series of competitive quiz games held at venues ranging from hospital waiting rooms to makeshift tents in the desert and a newly created character featured in coloring books, puppet shows, and a soon-to-be television cartoon series help achieve this learning process. Mohamed targets children as a key leverage point in this process recognizing that the prevailing passivity toward health has not yet been ingrained in them and that parents are much more likely to pay attention to information related to their children’s well-being than to their own.

Mohamed has also focused in on the importance of having the medical profession play its appropriate role in encouraging a culture of active health prevention or wellness. He is going directly to the source and reorienting future doctors while they are still in medical school away from an approach centered on simply giving medication instructions to patients, to one of health educator, partner and collaborator. Having mobilized more than 400 medical school volunteers in almost every governorate in Egypt for his health awareness campaigns, Mohamed plans to introduce credited field work as part of the medical school curriculum to yield more empathetic doctors who can effectively relate to and communicate with their patients. Mohamed is also recruiting and mentoring other groups interested in specific health issues affecting the country, offering them a legal umbrella—his Healthy Egyptians citizen organization (CO)—with hopes of creating a broad coalition of local organizations focused on helping Egyptians lead proactively healthy lives.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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