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Telemedicine organization Sehat Kahani has raised $1 million from leading global investors. It was founded by two women doctors-turned-entrepreneurs, Dr Sara Saeed Khurram and Dr Iffat Zafar Aga, in 2017.

Sehat Kahani connects women doctors from their homes to patients in underserved segments of the country using a telemedicine-based solution of e-health clinics and a mobile application.

Its investors include the Islamic Development Bank, 10Pearls Ventures, Mentor’s Fund, Korean Impact Collective Funds and Impact Investment Exchange (IIX), KASB and the Din Group in Pakistan.

Sehat Kahani announced the news at an event held at Pearl Continental Hotel in Karachi on Monday. Information Minister Aminul Haque, SBP Governor Reza Baqir, MNA Khalid Maqbool Siddiqui and individuals from banking, pharmaceutical, insurance and other sectors attended the event.

“There is only one doctor for every 1,700 persons in Pakistan,” said Dr Iffat Zafar, co-founder and COO of Sehat Kahani. “Here comes the role of Sehat Kahani to fill the gap.”

Qatar has the highest number of per capita doctors at 77.4 doctors for every 10,000 persons. Pakistan has only approximately 7 doctors for every 10,000, one of the lowest in the world.

Dr Zafar said that only 23% women doctors actively practice. She deduces this number on the basis of licenses issued by the Pakistan Medical Commission. Around 12% male practitioners also leave Pakistan.

There are two verticals of Sehat Kahani. The startup has established 35 e-health clinics across Pakistan, mainly in underserved communities where a nurse connects patients to general physicians and specialist doctors.

There’s a mobile app too where patients and doctors can directly connect with each other. Sehat Kahani shares 60% of revenues with doctors on its platforms.

The mobile app is built on both a business-to-business (B2B) model where corporations provide healthcare access to their employees, as well as a business-to-consumer (B2C) model whereby the mass market can go online and access services.

Its key clients include 51 corporations such as Meezan Bank, Abbott, Roche. Sehat Kahani has recently signed an agreement with Jubilee Insurance to offer online OPD service to over 700 corporations.

“This is very heartening to see female entrepreneurs coming forward in tech,” Aminul Haque said. “I wish to see more such events where females led organizations are raising foreign investment for Pakistan.”

Related: State Bank focusing on women could boost Pakistan’s economy

Dr Reza Baqir congratulated Sehat Kahani for the achievement. “This shall be a case study for many other female entrepreneurs that how gender should never be a barrier on the way to success.”

Dr Sara Saeed Khurram said that investor trust has further reflected the massive success of Sehat Kahani that has celebrated a 425% growth in the last 12 months only.

Changseong Ho, the founder of The Ventures, said he was very excited to invest in Sehat Kahani and back its founders.

“Sehat Kahani is creating a massive impact for emerging countries in a very creative, scalable way through telemedicine,” Ho said. “We look forward to being part of their journey.”

Abdul Gh Lone

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