He who has health, has hope; and he who has hope has everything. — Thomas Carlyle
Growing up, I’d always wanted to work at the highest level of healthcare. It seemed like the noblest thing and when, in 2016, I had the opportunity to work at one of the biggest healthcare institutions in the country, I learnt a lot about the challenges faced by people with chronic health conditions.
During my time at the HIV & Tuberculosis clinic, we had over 1,000 recurrent persons who had to show up twice a month for their medication refills. Over time, I noticed that these people and a significant number of people with chronic health conditions had a few things in common.
- Affordability: At the HIV clinic, antiretroviral medications were given for free and this contributed to why a couple of people preferred the hospital for their refills. This isn’t surprising considering that healthcare is expensive and costs are constantly increasing.
- Adherence: Every other day, there was always a story about why someone wasn’t using their medications properly. The problem of medication adherence is huge, as most people struggle to complete their dose for various reasons. Some forget because it’s hard to stick to a routine, while some leave their medications behind when traveling. Adherence was a constant struggle at the clinic.
- Belongingness: For anyone who has gone through any health condition for a prolonged period, there is the emotional burden that comes with having to constantly live with it. In big healthcare facilities where the service providers are often overwhelmed, there’s a patient-need that gets overlooked. People with health conditions sometimes need emotional support and the clinic offers a sense of belonging — that they are not alone. This is an under-delivered need that leaves patients sometimes worried after each hospital visit.
- Discretion: Medical conditions are quite personal to people and most people seek discretion with their medications. It wasn’t rare to find people transfer medications to a less suspicious container. To achieve this discretion, patients often mix up their medications and these errors were very common.
These behaviours cut across various socio-economic groups. These lessons, and those from other experiences, are part of what we’ve considered in building the complete pharmaceutical experience everyone deserves.
In building Famasi, we have distilled these problems into three broad offerings and they form the core of what our customers stand to gain when they work with us.
- Convenience: We believe that nobody should have to endure long queues or extended periods looking for their medications to refill them. We want to build an experience that ensures that people with health conditions can set up their medication needs and enjoy repeated deliveries of their medication anywhere they want it.
- Access: By ensuring that people with health conditions always have their medications, we’re removing the burden of access to good pharmaceutical care. One of the lessons we’ve learned while working on building Famasi is that people living with heart conditions often go to lengths to get their medications. For us, our promise is simple — Never run out of medications.
- Support: To solve other non-medication needs that come with using medications, we’re building Famasi to provide ongoing support through monitoring, periodic check-ups, reminders, and community events such that people with health conditions do not have to bear the burden alone. We aim to build Famasi to be the companion that is there for you, medication-wise.
Our goal is to improve the quality of health of everyday Africans and build a better world for us all. We’re excited about this and we invite you to join us on this journey.
To get started, visit our website.