In Pakistan, the situation is all too familiar for female doctors. Though women outnumber men in the country’s medical schools, more than half never end up practicing after graduation day because they are forced to give up their professional aspirations to appease their husbands and conservative in-laws. For many families, having a daughter-in law, who is a doctor can be a status symbol but, behind closed doors, they insist that wives devote their time to their husbands & children.
Here is the real inspiration and a story of this Acumen Fellow lost her job when she was about to start her motherhood.
Sara found herself at a turning point, personally and professionally. She wanted to work again, but this time it would be on her terms.
And so began Sara’s journey to create Sehat Kahani.
Sehat Kahani — which translates to “story of health” in Urdu — is a social enterprise that helps women doctors provide affordable health care to underserved communities across Pakistan. The company runs small clinics where a visit is much like any other trip to the doctor’s office—except the doctor communicates via a computer screen. Through online consultations, video conferences and information sharing, low-income patients gain access to high-quality care and nurses are on hand to record medical history and perform simple examinations. It’s cutting-edge health care delivered through the power of technology. Today, Sehat Kahani is Pakistan’s largest telehealth company, with 14 centers serving more than 40,000 patients. Sara’s passion to build the social enterprise — and the success it has had so far — has not only given her a new confidence but also has helped her family to open their minds and rethink their traditions.
About Dr. Sara Khurram!
Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram has been born and bred in Karachi. She has done her MBBS from DOW University of Health Sciences. Currently, she has completed Health Policy Management Programme at The Aga Khan University of Health sciences.
She has won notable awards such as CRDF Global, Ashoka Changemakers, ISIF Asia, the Unilever Sustainable living Young Entrepreneurs Awards and the Unicef- Global Goal Campaigner Award 2016 for her role formerly with doctHERs, she recently won the APTECH Young Entrepreneurs award for Sehat Kahani and her work was also featured in a BBC documentary. She has been part of a well-known accelerator in Pakistan; Invest2 Innovate. She is also a part of regional Acumen fellowship cohort 2016.
Dr.Sara Saeed Khurram is the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Sehat Kahani.