President Macron Meets Young Benin Health Disruptor

Dr. Vena Arielle AHOUANSOU 

The name Dr. Vena Arielle AHOUANSOU is not in anyone’s lexicon at the moment, but that may change in the coming years, thanks to her singular idea of transforming Africa’s primary healthcare culture.

During his three-country, West Africa visit to Cameroun, Guinea, and then Benin last week, President Emmanuel Macron invited Dr. Vena Arielle Ahouansou to share her vision of a new African digital healthcare system. Sitting alongside Benin’s foreign minister H.E. Aurelien Agbenonci and President Emmanuel Macron, Dr. Ahouansou shared her vision where critical talents from Africa and Europe would collaborate, to create an integrated and seamless digital primary healthcare system that benefits one simple race of people – and that is the human race.

The 27-year-old’s her journey began one evening back in October 2016 as young medical student making the rounds in a public hospital in Cotonou – Benin, and her team attended to a patient who was hemorrhaging after the delivery of twin babies.

Unfortunately, because of the need for a blood transfusion, the extended time it took to determine just her blood type alone in the absence of a simple record system, cost the patient her life. It was a dark and bright moment, all at the same time, it seemed.

For a young Dr. Arielle Verna AHOUANSOU, that tragic event changed forever her mission as a caregiver, and her vision for what a primary healthcare system should be in her country Benin.

Armed with a little faith and driven with an abundance in a belief that a basic digital EMR [Electronic Medical Record] system could be developed, she took her message to any and everyone who would listen to her idea. Dr. Ahouansou was hoping someone somewhere would see not just the benefits of such a system, but believe that even though she was a young woman [in a ‘very patriarchic Africa’ and with little digital and zero IT experience], she was still the right person to develop this new system in her country.

That initiative today is known as the Kea medicals solution.

Dr. Ahouansou is looking to take her project to other governments in francophone African countries and the Caribbean, with the assistance of President Macron. She believes her message of a universal digital primary healthcare deployment across these regions would be a lifesaver by reducing medical records access time and improving overall care management efficiency, for tens of millions of people.

She just might be right!

Written by: Ellen Racketien 

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