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Luncheon Series with Khanjan Mehta

Khanjan Mehta, Director of Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) Program and Assistant Professor of Engineering Design

"The Double Disease Burden and Community Health Innovations"

By the year 2020, noncommunicable diseases will compose eighty percent of the global disease burden. These challenges along with already high rates of infectious diseases contribute to the "double disease burden" in the developing world. In East Africa, where I have been working on telemedicine systems and Community Health Worker (CHW) Programs for the past decade, hundreds of innovative solutions have been developed and field tested to address these healthcare challenges. These solutions range from innovative technologies and educational regimens to entrepreneurial activities, policy interventions and new organizational systems. This multiplicity of approaches reflects the complicated and multi-dimensional nature of the problem with deep roots in the cultural context. Alongside building the Mashavu healthcare system and deploying several other health innovations, my team has spent considerable time studying other projects and approaches. We found that while most ventures fail, a common thread amongst the successful ones is that they are lean, designed for scale, and most importantly, engage the community in a practical and holistic fashion. The community is really pivotal to success and large-scale impact. Many of these observations and lessons learned in Africa are actually just as relevant at home in the United States. Specifically, there is a real opportunity for community-engaged approaches to improve access to healthcare while improving livelihoods and creating jobs. This seminar will focus on such "reverse innovations" -- practical, innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities that can be intelligently translated from the developing world to address some of our most persistent healthcare challenges.


Monday, November 7, 2016 at 12:00pm to 1:00pm

217 Willard

Event Type

Diversity and Inclusion

Africana Research Center
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