The Challenges of Global Health

Dr. Krishna Udayakumar gave this TED-style talk as part of CASE’s 10th anniversary celebration in December 2012.

“If you are born in some places in sub-saharan Africa, you can expect to live less than half as long as someone who is born in Western Europe.”

That is how Dr. Krishna Udayakumar – a Fuqua alum and current head of Global Innovation at Duke Medicine – began his talk at the CASE 10 Year Anniversary Celebration. He went on to describe the “iron triangle” in global health – the 3 pronged challenges of:

  1. access to care,
  2. quality, and
  3. affordability.

The iron triangle is compounded by other factors including demographics shifting to an aging population, lack of infrastructure, and lack of skilled workforce in some areas.

But, despite all this, Dr. Udayakumar sees hope in social entrepreneurs who are willing to tackle these challenges. Social entrepreneurs such as Medicall Home in Mexico (improving access to physicians and nurses via mobile phone); One Family Health in Rwanda (a nurse owned and operated franchise model of primary care) and LifeSpring Hospital (a low cost, maternity hospital chain in India).

But why are successful models like LifeSpring only 15 hospitals in India?  Why not 150?

The solutions exist but we have an issue with scale.  And so Dr. Udayakumar was happy to announce the launch of the Social Entrepreneurship Accelerator at Duke (SEAD) – a development lab for scaling innovations in global health.

SEAD will identify the best innovators from around the world, provide business model support, corporate and peer mentorship and help mobilize capital to allow these innovative solutions to scale their impact.  To learn more about SEAD and the challenges of global health, view Dr. Udayakumar’s full talk below or visit SEAD’s website here.