Monday, 3 October 2016

Pakistani startup doctHERs wins Unicef award for improving women's lives

doctHERs, a Pakistani initiative which uses online technology to match trained junior female doctors with rural women and girls via telemedicine, was honoured at the inaugural Global Goals Awards curated by UN children's agency Unicef.

Dr. Sara Saeed Khurram, one of the co-founders of doctHERs, received 'The Campaigner Award' for her organisation at a ceremony in New York on Tuesday.

The social enterprise has created nine virtual clinics in underprivileged communities over a period of 1.5 years. Six of these are based in the urban slums of Karachi, two in Mansehra, and one in Hafizabad.

doctHERs is available to patients in both rural and urban areas. While challenges differ in the two areas, gains are the same: doctHERs creates employment opportunities for women, and improves the quality of healthcare in the region.

doctHERs was one of the three winners honoured for championing women's and girls' rights worldwide.

Yusra Mardini, a Syrian teenager who saved fellow refugees from drowning and then swam for the refugee team at the Rio Olympics this year, and Rebeca Gyumi, a lawyer who fights against child marriage in Tanzania as head of the Msichana Initiative were the other two winners.

"The three honourees were recognised for their contributions to advancing the rights of girls and women," said a Unicef press release.

Aimed at rallying support for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) agreed last year to tackle poverty and inequality by 2030, the Global Goals Awards were judged by a panel comprising the 17 SDG advocates who advise UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.


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