Meet MaiSoin’s Dédé Tounkara – Côte d’Ivoire

Dédé has a Master’s in Public Health from Emory University with experience in disease surveillance in Central Africa. Dede co-founded MaiSoin, a social enterprise aimed at increasing access to healthcare in Cote d’Ivoire.

What inspired your innovation?

African urban health systems have not adapted to their population’s health needs. As urban centers grow, health structures are overburdened by non-urgent patient visits and pandemics, such as Covid-19. The people most impacted by the lack of resources in the public health system are those in the informal sector because they rely on daily wages and typically don’t have access to health insurance.

In Côte d’Ivoire, the informal sector accounts for up to 77% employment. When the public health system has significant barriers to care, individuals tend to opt for riskier alternatives such as informal clinics and fake medication purchased on the black market. Our solution eliminates many of the high costs involved and targets lower income individuals, specifically those in the informal sector that don’t have access to health insurance and rely upon the public health system.

How does this work?

MaiSoin is a mobile application that allows healthcare providers to connect with patients and provide household level care when appropriate. Patients will be able to request medical visits even without an internet connection and can also use the application to track and monitor their health history, post reminders for themselves, and request consultations.

Health centers can use MaiSoin to tailor their homecare services according to the patients’ needs, and reduce numbers at healthcare facilities. The app helps health workers to provide non-emergency services such as replacement of post-surgical bandages, follow-up for chronic diseases, maternal health consultations, or even ensuring that patients have taken their tuberculosis medication. The platform uses a gig economy-style network of health professionals, we ensure that there is always a qualified individual nearby to initiate the care. This also allows us to reduce transport costs and heavy administrative expenses.

We use a cloud-based platform that ensures that only the user or their primary provider can view their health history to ensure patient confidentiality and security. By having a platform used by multiple health partners we are more effectively able to establish uniformity in data collection and improve comprehensive data analysis.

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