You’ve heard of TED Talks — interesting people lecturing about amazing work?
Well, there is also something called a TED Prize, and medical entrepreneur Raj Panjabi will receive it in April. The TED website provides background.
“Raj Panjabi grew up in Liberia, but at age nine, his family fled a devastating civil war and relocated to the United States. He studied hard, and in 2005 returned to his native country as a medical student. He was shocked to find a health care system in shambles.
Only 50 doctors remained to treat a population of four million.
“Raj founded Last Mile Health to expand access to health services for those living in Liberia’s most remote regions. The nonprofit partners with the government to recruit, train, equip and employ community health care workers, empowering them to provide a wide range of services.
“In 2016, Last Mile Health deployed 300 community health workers, who conducted more than 42,000 patient visits and treated nearly 22,000 cases of malaria, pneumonia and diarrhea in children. The organization also helped tackle the Ebola epidemic in southeastern Liberia by assisting the government of Liberia in its response and training 1,300 health workers to prevent the spread of the disease.
“Last Mile Health has created a model that can be replicated. … The key: training and employing community health workers — individuals who learn to diagnose and perform medical interventions, and can serve as a bridge to the primary health system.”
At TED2017, Panjabi will reveal how he aims to transform access to care in remote areas elsewhere and protect against pandemic outbreaks.
Photo: Last Mile Health
Born in Liberia, Raj Panjabi fled as a child because of civil war. He returned as a medical student — and went on to found Last Mile Health.