2019 Young Entrepreneurs Awards winner: Francis Xavier Aslimwe

Initiative: Kaaro Health

Country of impact: Uganda

The solar-powered clinics connecting doctors with remote rural communities

Uganda suffers from a desperate lack of medical professionals. There are fewer than 0.01 doctors per 1,000 people, and the World Health Organization estimates that physician shortages in the country lead to more than 120,000 deaths every year.

But Francis Xavier Aslimwe and the team behind Kaaro Health believe they have a solution which could bring affordable, accessible healthcare to millions.

Kaaro Health provides Uganda’s rural communities with remote access to doctors – specialists that small local medical centres would otherwise be unable to reach.

Through a network of solar-powered container clinics, which are connected to a medical consultation system, staff can deliver potentially life-saving diagnoses and prescriptions to patients, and nurses on the front line can receive training and education.

Bringing healthcare within reach for rural communities

Since the business was established in 2016, Kaaro Health has set up 71 solar-powered mobile clinics and so far these have reached patients in 28,000 rural villages. The priority has been getting to communities which lack a health facility within a 10km radius.

The clinics serve at least 750 patients a day, and have handled more than 110,000 patient visits in the past three years.

Of these patients, 16,000 were pregnant women living with HIV. In the majority of those cases, Kaaro Health’s intervention was able to prevent transmission to infants, or enable the diagnosis and early treatment of newborns.

“Knowing that our work actually saves lives and shields families from health-related expenditure which would plunge them further into poverty is what I find most fulfilling and inspiring,” says Francis.

“The testimonies we receive from the people we serve are heart-warming. We couldn’t be prouder of what we’ve achieved so far, and there’s still so much more we want to do.”