In 2006, a local pharmacist in Cairo noticed two things – that low-income families couldn’t afford medicine, and that there was a room in his mosque packed with donated pharmaceuticals. So Waleed Shawky set up Medicine for All to put the two together. He created a win-win community-based system to collect, sort and distribute what was wasted by households, pharmacies and companies – and redistribute to those in need.
As more than half of Egyptians don’t have access to medication through not being able to afford it, being debilitated through serious illness, or not having health insurance, the data collected by the project is a valuable tool to lobby for policy change.
But Shawky didn’t stop there, establishing volunteer-run hubs in Egypt’s two main universities to distribute the medicines, whilst providing on-the-job training. He is planning ten more El Kheir Educational Pharmacies in Egypt and other Arab nations. Translated as ‘Educational pharmacies for doing good’, and that’s what they are – providing both medicine and pharmaceutical educations to those who need it.
Waleed Shawky, CEO