Vena Arielle Ahouansou wants to end preventable deaths

By : Melchior Koba

Date : vendredi, 03 juin 2022 16:05

Last updated : dimanche, 05 juin 2022 15:56

She chose to leverage technology to avoid preventable deaths caused by a lack of information. To fulfill her mission she created a universal health identification system dubbed Kea. 

Vena Arielle Ahouansou (photo) is a Beninese doctor and entrepreneur. In 2017, she launched Kea Medicals, a startup providing universal health IDs to users. Via her platform Kea, she interconnects various health institutions allowing efficient healthcare to users no matter the health institution they visit. Indeed, attending physicians can check patients’ health records by imputing the latter’s universal IDs (previously provided by Kea) on the startup’s centralized platform. That way, it contributes to better diagnosis and treatment. 

Arielle graduated from the University of Parakou's Faculty of Medicine (Benin) in 2017. During her medical internship, she witnessed many preventable deaths. The death of a woman named Charlotte was one too many.

"One evening, in Benin, I was on call at a referral hospital when Charlotte, a woman aged about 27, was referred. She delivered twins in a suburban hospital but, sadly she developed postpartum hemorrhage” and needed an urgent blood transfusion, she explains.  The young mother died ten minutes after reaching the referral hospital because doctors had to check her blood type before the transfusion.  

To ensure such preventable losses are averted, Arielle Ahouansou is focused on universal health identification.  She is also active in several social projects. From 2014 to 2015, she served as the regional coordinator for the Health Sanitation and Hygiene Office, an organization that facilitates people's access to water and sanitation. One year earlier, she founded the non-governmental organization REFELD/MEN for women's empowerment and leadership development. 

She is a Tony Elumelu Foundation Entrepreneurship Programme and GSMA Ecosystem Accelerator program fellow. In 2018, she was on Forbes Africa’s list of the 30 under 30 most promising African youths. The following year, she won the Paris Grand Prizes for Innovation. 

Melchior Koba









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