Best Projects 2018 features all the nominated entries submitted to the Youth Citizen Entrepreneurship Competition under ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs. If you want to know the 10 finalists in this category click HERE
Renal unit chains in Lesotho
Explain your project in details:
The main objective is to run a chain of renal units with services affordable to the citizens. The most commonly expensive services being both the hemodialysis and peritoneal dialysis programs. The plan is to have one pilot renal unit in the capital, Maseru. Diagnosis and basic internal medicine consultations will be done by a nephrologist at an independent clinic or hospital as these could be more expensive for a nonprofit center. Kidney patients may only be referred to the renal unit for services like kidney care and education, dialysis and counselling. At the center we will have two patient care technicians and a biomedical technician. We will branch out once the pilot unit is well established.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
The current situation is that one gets ill, we send them to the clinic/hospital. The doctors run the tests, they all narrow down to kidney failure. The patient is given the whole set of medication until the disease progresses. The body usually retains fluids, patients get swollen limps, neck and face. They have difficulty breathing as their lungs are now filled with water. We send them back to the hospital where they will obviously be housed as inpatients. They are left on the bed until one day their electrolytes are completely out of spec/imbalanced and they have a series of seizures and die eventually. Only the ones that can afford treatment are sent to South Africa by their families; neither the government nor the hospitals take responsibility. You must be wondering how I know all these? I lost my fiance to kidney failure on Oct 25, 2015. The day after my birthday. No worries though, I picked myself up I have a new man now. One member is also on peritoneal dialysis. We get this up and running we will make sure it will not fail.
Sustainability and future plans
We are currently trying to register a kidney foundation. This will sustain the renal unit through membership subscriptions and donations, donations from other individuals and independent bodies. The foundation will also run pre-scheduled fundraising activities like carwash, T-shirt sales, light meal sales and fun walks. The center will eventually generate cash through the services it will be providing. Members will have no financial gain. They and their immediate families will however get free but limited services from the unit.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I was born on Oct 24 in Maseru, Lesotho. I did very well in school. I took a chemistry/physical geography double major at varsity, National University of Lesotho in 2002. I spent a year after completing my studies teaching mathematics and science at a high school. I joined the University of Cape Town's Department of Chemistry in 2008 to pursue my MSc. My research was based on the development of antiinflammatory drugs for rheumatoid arthritis. The results were promising so in 2010 I enrolled for a PhD in the same department. I joined the Department of Chemical Engineering's Center of Minerals Research in 2013 as a postdoctoral research fellow. I joined Adient automotive in 2016 as a quality intern. I was appointed as a Business Operating Systems coordinator three months later. My role here is to describe business processes, make sure they comply with the ISO standards (International Organization for Standardization). I also make sure that for all safety critical processes "poka yokes" and "red rabbits" are followed to to detect and minimise mistakes and failure. I also run the internal audits, draw up an open issue list and make sure all open issues are closed as per company standards/customer's expectation and satisfaction. Adient has more than 200 plants globally. Each plant has a team (Teamwork in Action). Each team consists of a seven members and a coordinator. The team then launches a project focused on innovation, shareability and best business practices, environmental impact and savings. The plants then compete regionally. The one team that wins is sent through to the European finals held in Germany. I was coordinating Teamwork in Action last year and my team made it through to the European finals. I also came in first for Adient's Talent2020 recruitment program for leadership.