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Mission Possible at Clinic+O

Civic Warriors Episode 28 with Clinic+O

"Dust off yourself and do what you've got to do"

Having previously worked at Facebook, we speak with CEO of Clinic+O, Nasser Diallo, as he shares with us his inspiration in starting this organization and what he hopes to see it achieve. As a child growing up in Guinea, Nasser understands firsthand the enormity
of how the problem of lack of accessible healthcare can ripple through communities and families. And in a region where so many have never seen a physician, the problem is pressing. To make change it takes a village. One which encompasses a variety of knowledge, skills, technology and passion. Listen in to find out how Nasser is using his past personal and professional experiences at Clinic+O to prove that anything is possible.

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This podcast was transcribed through a third-party application. Please disregard any misrepresentations.

Brad:
Alright. Good morning everybody. Uh, this is Brad Caruso and Ashley Krompier Withum Civic Warriors podcast. Today we have a very special guest with us Nasser Diallo. Good morning, Nasser. How are you doing today?

Nasser:
I’m, great, good morning Brad. Uh, it’s really, really a pleasure to be here.

Brad:
We’re so excited to have you. Nassser and I met, uh, is a very special mission with an organization that he starting and working on. That’s very close to his heart and very close, uh, with his passion in life. And, uh, we’re excited to talk a little bit more about, uh, Clinico as an organization, as well as, um, a little bit about your background and what you’re trying to accomplish. So, uh, maybe Nasser, if you could share with our audience a little bit about yourself, uh, kind of how you got to your, where you are and then we’ll go from there.

Nasser:
Absolutely, absolutely. Thanks again for having me. I’m Nasser originally from Guinea Conakry, um, geographically located in, uh, in west Africa next to Senegal, Mali, and Aricos, so I have been living in the US for the past 10 years and I came here in pursuit of education and opportunity. Uh, so I, I, um, I studied here at GWU, uh, and then, uh, work, uh, with a few politicians. Uh, and then, um, now I just resigned from Facebook as a policy project manager for economic recovery in Europe to do, um, some very specific work in my home country and in west Africa, which is Clinic-O uh, in a nutshell. And I know we will have a chance to talk more about it. Clinic-O is a tech enabled a platform that any, that offer primary care services to marginalize people in west Africa, people who live with less than $1 a day.

Brad:
Yeah. And that, and that is a, that is a, um, a great mission that, that you’re starting, uh, an organization that, uh, obviously, uh, from your perspective, um, from Ghana, there’s a need and, you know, you have the brainpower through your education. I’m sure through, uh, working at Facebook as well as just knowing what needs to happen and working with others that, uh, you’ll certainly be able to make it happen. So I guess maybe, maybe share with us a little bit about, um, you know, what it is that drove you to, uh, you know, start Clinic-O, you know, what, you know, obviously, uh, growing up, um, you know, healthcare in the U S may be a little bit different than healthcare. So maybe educate, we can educate the audience a little bit about the healthcare systems and, and what the, what the need is.

Nasser:
Absolutely Brad. So I growing up in, in Guinea, uh, so healthcare was a very scarce resource as, so see healthcare as a privilege, not a right. So you have to, uh, be the top 1% or at least be fairly easy to be able to access health care. Why? Because, um, if you do not live in the capital city, which is extremely difficult to live in very expensive um, you, you are left out. I used to live in labbing, which is 500 kilometers away from the Capitol city. Uh, it’s a beautiful city where I grew up with my, my parents and my dad had diabetes. So for 15 years, and that he will travel, uh, to just to check his, uh, sugar level, uh, in the capital city. Um, and, and that was highly, highly expensive for him and for us. Uh, my dad had seven kids, so it’s the normal in our countries, right? So it was, uh, I, whenever one of us got sick, it is just a matter of whether I’m going to take my child to the hospital, have put food on the table and no human being should have to face such a choice. So I really, um, remembered that that was in the back of my head. I am not a doctor just for disclosure and I’m not looking to be one. So I just want to tell you where I’m coming from. And then, um, um, in 20 early 2020 when COVID hits. So, um, now even those who had resources to come to the Capitol city, uh, to get access to primary care services could not why, because, uh, there were some restrictions posed by the government saying that no one is able to travel and that really really triggered at Clinic-O. I just started reaching out to two doctors I know in Connectria and say, Hey, can we use just WhatsApp for now to connect people who need primary care services to you who are in connected because that were, that will probably help ease the problem. So I use a portion of my, of my income to, to cover the data, get the cell phones and give, put it to the hands of the doctors. Uh, and it was that’s how clinical started. And, uh, um, 8 months later we have about 2,500 people that we have screened on our services. And 85% of these people have found solutions over the phone to our teleconsultation process.

Brad:
That’s phenomenal. And, and so you said he used the WhatsApp to, uh, to connect.

Nasser:
Yeah, so, uh, our stem, so working from Facebook taught me that, um, the customer is king and there is no need to create something better than what the customer needs. Our customer is the bottom of the pyramid. What they need is just an opportunity to see a, a physician and an opportunity to hear and communicate with that physician. So we have limited resources. So we did three things, one, uh, map out and identify what are those open source resources that we can use, um, in terms of technology. And I’m gonna elaborate on those two, uh, what are the main power? Uh, we need to be able to operationalize those, those resources and three, um, how those resources put together can impact the understanding of our audience. So in terms of, uh, resources, we identified WhatsApp. Why, because it is end to end encrypted, right? So no one can intercept a communication. Uh, we are still living in countries where our democracy is still. Um, we still need to make some progress, uh, toward democracy, um, to, um, we, I don’t defy, uh, Google drive as, uh, an opportunity to see if it is possible to create a digital medical records. Uh, and if it’s possible, then we can move from Google drive to a, something more sustainable. And, uh, we created a Google sheets, uh, and for, to, to record our, our patients information, the vitals and so on and Google docs to create our medical reports. Um, and then, and then after the consultation, we share that via WhatsApp with, uh, with the patients. Uh, and, and finally we understood that both our clinicians, what I mean by clinician is physicians, nurses, and community healthcare workers were able to operationalize that thoroughly, uh, and, uh, and our customers, which are people who are not educated in the Western sense, meaning they have not been into any Western school, are able to, to download WhatsApp over the phone when we tell them how to do it, to turn on and turn off their data. And also to be able to start a call and end a WhatsApp call, how to hold the phone, to show the parts of the body. And, um, uh, it was, it was really what we needed. Um, uh, it, more later now we are migrating towards a, a platform, uh, in collaboration with an organization called matrix and value first. Uh, but we are still keeping the options for spirit, uh, which makes it easier to grasp and, uh, and very user friendly. Um, uh, we, we don’t want to go beyond, uh, what is needed on the ground from our, uh, administrative administrative team and our, in our patients.

Ashley:
Wow. There’s a lot of moving pieces isn’t there.

Nasser:
Absolutely, absolutely.

Brad:
There are. But what I like about what I like about what you’ve done is you’ve identified a need. And, and what you’ve been able to do is in a very, I imagine a very cost-effective manner find really the simplest of solutions, which is, you know, how do we, how do we find technology that is safe to use, but also is accessible, right. I think accessibility is generally probably one of the largest challenges I would imagine it’s just accessibility. And then how do we seamlessly then connect, uh, individuals that have a need with individuals that can help that need. And I think you found a solution, uh, and I know that this is evolving and certainly you’re, you’re building different platforms, but just that at its very preset. I think what I love what I’ve heard so far, and what I love when people do is don’t try to solve the biggest problem. Immediately try to solve what, you know, you can solve and then work from it. Cause the first step in getting something done is just doing something right. Getting things done is the best way to predict the future. So I think that’s, uh, from what you’ve said, I think you’ve taken a lot of commonplace. Are you at, you know, in the U S commonplace technology, but then implemented it in a way that that is efficient and actually works or at least that’s what it sounds like to us.

Nasser:
Yeah, you’re definitely right. Actually. Um, and this comes with, um, lived experience working at, at Facebook, seen some products that are being launched, um, and that have an impact. And those that do not have an impact, it just taking and just also having a local understanding of what is needed in our communities. I think most of the solutions, um, that we have in our continent in our countries are as solutions that are not coming from the bottom up, but from the top down, what I mean by bottom up and top down, it’s the fact that you have a technology company and you have means to build technology does not mean necessarily, you know, what, we’ll work with people that are different or live in a geographically different location. Right. So what we did was using, I used to be that bottom of the pyramid, right? So I used to, I used to understand what it means to, to, to get into, to download an application and go through all that process that is not needed for someone with just one health care for their child. They, they wanna know, can you help my child? That’s all we want. Right. Uh, and, and, and, and as you, as you rightfully pointed out, we, we, we went from that premise and we had limited resources to, we could not afford to, to do anything, anything that would cost us money with, um, without knowing that it will be beneficial to the, to the community. And today, our pilot is, is, is very, um, very promising. Now we are trying to expand, to try to reach the 8 million people who do not have access to primary care services in, in Guinea for the next three to five years. And then after that scale up to the 100 million people who do not have access to primary care services in, in, in west Africa. So, so this is, this is a huge mission, but it is, it is doable. And I think it’s extremely important to, to point out also one statistic that will help your, your, your listeners understand, uh, the scale of the problem in Guinea. We have point 0.8 physicians per thousand people for every thousand people. We have point 0.8 physicians in comparisons to the U S where you have 3.5 physicians for a thousand people, right. And in, in Guinea, we have 0.4 nurses and midwives for thousand people in comparison to the U S where you have an average of four to five, right? So you have to figure out a solution because you are not going to produce physicians and nurse these overnights, right. So you have to use technology to bridge this gap. And we are very grateful that these are open source and we can use them as we pleases.

Brad:
Yeah. And, and, and I think, you know, just repeating some of those facts and I think putting it in context, there’s also some other items that you mentioned earlier on, which is logistics. And so, you know, as you mentioned in the U S there’s about three and a half physicians, per thousand people, four to five nurses, per thousand people, um, you know, in Guinea, you’re, you’re working with 0.4 nurses for per thousand people and 0.8 physicians for a thousand people. But also how, how close in proximity are those nurses and, and physicians and doctors to the actual individuals that are in need of care. And I know, I think you mentioned something before, but, but maybe, maybe give a little bit more context on the lay of the land, uh, in Guinea, because I think that also drives the point home of, of, of how dire and how significant the need is.

Nasser:
Absolutely. So, um, so we, we are in, in rural Guinea, what we call healthcare deserts, a healthcare desert is a location where you have 100 kilometers, um, uh, an area of 100 kilometer without a health facility, 100 kilometers, a hundred kilometers without a health facility. Right. And, and, and these, and these people, um, most of them have never seen a physician in their, in their lives. Right? So what we did is the most exciting parts for, for, for, for me in this, in this journey, it is, it is going to these people and then try and to ask them what are their priorities, right? And if healthcare is their priority is try to identify a community health worker in Guinea. We have three levels of, of, of, of, uh, healthcare providers or clinicians. We have doctors, you have nurses, and we have community health care workers. Now, however, version of community healthcare workers, just to simplify it, just someone who has a junior high school degree and six month training in healthcare. So what we don’t want to do is to, to, to, to give these people, the illusion that they are doctors, and they can solve people’s problems, right. What we want to do is to give them cell phones and medical equipment and tell them, here is a checklist. You have to go through that checklist to see if people are reading properly. If people are, uh, they have oxygen. If, if, if, if this and that is working, and if it goes beyond this checklist, use your phone and call a nurse or a doctor to connect them to primary care services. Right? And we are doing this in real time and no one needs to walk. Now, no one needs to, to spend five hours in, in, um, one way in 10 hours round trip, just to see a doctor for 15 minutes. And we are not in the business of, um, of inpatient care. We are in the business of outpatient care, primary care services, just malaria diarrhea. And so on. These things are still killing people in our countries. Um, and, and ourselves is I think the practicality of it, the, the tile effect is the effectiveness of it. And the fact that it is reducing the distance between patients and healthcare providers is, is, is fascinating. Most of our doctors are in the capital city. No one wants to go in a tiny village where you have a hundred people who do not, who do not have means to pay you, but need healthcare, right. Everyone want to stay in the city. So that’s our way to find a route to connect these doctors, to those patients who are, who are, and it is so refreshing. And I’m extremely, extremely excited about the opportunity to continue this work.

Ashley:
That’s very, very exciting. I mean, and we don’t, we don’t even understand the depth of, uh, the impact of how healthcare, I mean, at my age at 27, um, I grew up in America. So I don’t understand the depth of how that, uh, not having that access of healthcare can impact communities in ways that you’ve seen. And now you’re here. So you can see both sides of the equation and how there’s just a lot of things that are taken for granted. Unintentionally just, that’s just my perspective. Just you don’t realize how, how terrible situations can be and how many opportunities there are when you implement certain ways of thinking. Um, and in certain senses, You know, we just don’t, we just don’t think that way at times, that there’s areas that can benefit so dramatically to certain, certain elements and ways of life that are taken for granted. So often here.

Nasser:
And in addition to what you’re saying, I think there is, um, technology is also harming us in our countries. If you take, if you take Facebook and WhatsApp and Twitter, and so on, people use it often politicians often use it to spread misinformation, false news, hate speeches, right? And so, so what is, how can we, how can we use this technology to, to, to do something positive because it is there, right? So when I used to be at, at Facebook, I had to deal with so many problems with that are related to hate speech call for violence, mainly toward, toward elections, where literally people kill each other. Right? So a good example is Ebola in the democratic Republic of Congo, where people were spreading false news to WhatsApp groups saying that, um, a doctor without borders, doctors are, uh, physicians are, are purposefully spreading the virus of, of, of Ebola to local communities. Now, you tell that to someone who is, who do not have a good education, they started attacking doctor with our borders burning there, their, their, the, the, the facilities and, and killing medical providers who are there for their, for their interest. So I think, I think we have to try to find ways in which we can use technology to help humanity. We have sustainable development goals, um, uh, in 2030 is around the corner and there are so much to be done. And again, that’s why I resigned from Facebook, and I decided I’m gonna learn. I’m going to use everything I have learned within this giant company and use every positive aspect of technology to provide, to provide people healthier. Now, those who have access to WhatsApp through technology, what they are doing, they are also using WhatsApp to connect with, uh, with potential buyers of their crop, because they are healthy and they are able to farm, right. And they don’t, they don’t need now to go to, to the, to the local marketplace. They can just make the deal and ensure that there is a value before going to the local marketplace. So that’s that certainty, right? Enables them to save time. They just go to the market, deliver the product and come back, right. Instead of coming and waiting for someone or two to come and purchase your things. And before, uh, downloading WhatsApp and using them how to use it and telling them that they can use that beyond healthcare, it was not possible. Uh, so, so we, it’s, it’s a long process. Healthcare is the entry point, but as you know, we have to be smart and about how technology can be used better to solve everyday problems in that part of the world.

Ashley:
There’s so many bridges that can be gapped, like in all of this, in so many different ways. And the, everything is just at our fingertips. It’s just thinking the right way about how it complete be implemented. Um, and other ways that you’re doing that, it’s really amazing.

Brad:
Yeah. It’s being intentional about it. And then, you know, then the challenging part, which is the financing part of all of it, you know, how do you finance the operation? How do you get enough funding in that you can accomplish the various aspects of your mission, you know, implementing technology at some point, having people involved, paying people, there’s a lot of, there are a lot of different factors, um, dealing with regulatory compliance, which is, um, you know, sometimes, uh, we deal with a lot, which is, you know, that’s the less fun part, but it’s equally necessary to accomplish what you’re trying to do. Um, so I guess, I guess Nasser you know, help, help our audience understand to kind of, you know, from your perspective, you know, what, what are your needs as far as starting this organization, running this organization, you know, what, what helps you from the public to help get this off the ground? Is it, is it education? Is it donation? Is it volunteerism? You know, what is it from your perspective that helps get your idea to fruition?

Nasser:
I, I think, um, the, the first thing that we will be, uh, thinking of it’s, um, it’s, uh, it’s education, um, education about, um, about us, about our countries and about our continent and about how connected we are. Uh, let me give you an example. So I am currently in Brooklyn, New York, and, uh, three months ago, I was in a very tiny village where no one had ever a chance to go beyond the capital city of my country, if any of them had a chance to go to the capital city of my country. Um, what, what is the implication of that? It’s anything that I have here in New York. If I, if I have anything, I brought it to that little village and anything that I have in that little village. If I have, if I had anything, I brought it here in New York. That’s how just connected we are. So we are not safe until everyone is safe, right? So we have to be that, that, that, that educational piece, a lot of people think like your problems are your problems. Our problems are our problems. No, that’s, that’s, it’s, it’s, the world is so interconnected. And I found, um, American miners ahead of that local village who are working with the mining company. So they will be bringing back to whatever it is in that local village, if there is something in that local village, and I’m just, I’m not scaring anyone, I’m just saying it to increase. People’s understanding of how connected we are. The second thing is, uh, uh, education about the way healthcare works in America is not how healthcare work, and that’s not what, that’s not how we want healthcare in our countries. Right? The American healthcare system is extremely, uh, well-established, it’s, it’s, it’s really, it’s really powerful and it gives people what they deserve. So I think what we have, we have, we have an opportunity to reinvent our own healthcare based on what works and what did not work in developed countries, right? Meaning we won a healthcare system that is patient oriented, not admin, or, or health insurance oriented or, or physician or, or, or administrative. We want to focus our attention on the patients, meaning the, the, the, the, all the resources we want to, we want to focus most of the resources on the, on, on, on the patients, right? And, and we are doing that through the technology, but also through training and through collaboration. And another thing is every American doctor can help us make a difference in Guinea by just accepting to connect with, with some of our, our doctors today, technology enables us to translate things in real time, right? So for example, a dentist here in America can connect with, with a, a community healthcare worker in Guinea. Uh, we have an auto scope that can show that dentist at the tooth, okay. And that, and he can direct that community healthcare worker, right. Or they can help us train our local dentists. They can help us do some, some, some online work, um, that will cause that will help us save a lot of, a lot of time and a lot of money. And while I was studying here in America, I just noticed that there are a lot of projects that I was doing, uh, that will have benefited someone in my home country, but that is not beneficial to them. So I encourage every student who is in medical school or in communication schools or in technology school, you know, to connect with us so we can find, we can help them do their assignments while still having an impact in real life to some human beings. Right. So, so that’s, that’s the first portion. The second portion is resources, right? I think we are building a sustainable organizations. We are not, we understand that charity has its limits, and we, we want to take our, we want to take responsibility. What I mean by taking responsibility, it’s thinking about building an organization that can sustain over the years. Right. But at this point we need some support to build the foundations, right? So, uh, any support with that respect will be helpful, but we want people to keep in mind, we are not that kind of organization, that war, um, once monthly donations or something like we just want basic support to build a foundation of a platform that will enable us to create a mechanism that will generate profit, to pay our doctors, to do, to provide primary care services, to bring in all the stakeholders in our, in our, in our country. So any support with that respect will be, will be appreciated. And finally, it’s knowledge sharing, right? If there are some people who have done it, who, who have some local expertise, uh, in, in, in international health or global health or, or in, in technology who want to help us pilot, the, the, the work that we are doing and provide us feedback, we’ll be more than happy to, to, to take that. So, um, so those are the aspects that we are thinking about.

Brad:
Yeah. I love the way you’ve, I love the way you frame that. And I also appreciate, um, the, you know, your approach to this. And, and I think a lot of, a lot of what you’re saying is, is, you know, obviously starting to be achieved and, and is certainly achievable. Um, you know, always for those out there that that want to get involved, it certainly is always helpful to have resources. And that could be just, as you mentioned, someone that’s been through it and Hey, here’s some, here’s some pitfalls, or here’s some opportunities that, you know, maybe, maybe you can capitalize on, um, even things as simple as a conversation, always help and always help you drive that mission forward. Um, one thing I wanted to touch on a little bit and kind of circle back to, um, to, to continue to focus on the healthcare side of it is, you know, what are some of the common, um, health concerns, uh, that you faced growing up as well as that are, that are happening now? I think it’s important also to understand the types of health concerns that exist. And as you mentioned, some of them, if you just had access to a doctor to ask questions and diagnose it and understand it could actually solve the problem without a significant, uh, burden, uh, or a significant cost or a significant, uh, drug, if you will, that, that would, that would solve the issue. So maybe talk a little bit about, um, you know, growing up, I think I always love personal stories and as well as it, it certainly helps put context to it. So maybe if you have anything you want to share on that front.

Nasser:
Absolutely. And I am so glad you asked this question. Right. You know why, because, um, it’s, it’s just, it’s just a fascinating on to, to, to still see things that I, I experienced growing up are still present in today, today in our home countries. Right. So growing up, I, I, I grew up with, uh, with, with a diabetic fatter. So our home was, was kind of a, um, a, um, um, I don’t want to exaggerate you when I say mini lab, but you, we were exposed to syringes were exposed to, to enslave. And we were exposed to, um, drugs such as Democrat, uh, that the diabetic people take. Right. And I remember, um, uh, at one trip, my dad asked me, Hey, can you come with me to see my doctor? Um, and then I was excited because it was an opportunity for me to, to, to go to the capital city, right. Uh, 500 kilometers away. So my dad and I upon a cab, um, just to give you an idea of a cab it’s, um, it’s not one person inside of the cab, it’s a take a car that takes three people here will take six people, like two people sitting in the front, my dad and I squeezed there for 12 hours drive, and then four people sitting in the back. Right. That’s just until now, that’s how it is there because of the lack of infrastructure, we don’t have public transportation per se. We don’t have buses. We don’t have Metro. We don’t have none of that. You have to, you have, that’s how we have, or right now, by the time you get there, I was so exhausted. And I, and I, I just realized, like, I am healthy. I mean, how about this, this, this, this man here who is diabetic. Right. And he was giving me hope. He was laughing. He was telling me things will be okay, told me one. And he said, just stay away from diabetes. I’ve never forget that. Right. So tell today, people make fun of me. There is a coffee shop where I go to do my work. I come and I enter the coffee shop and say, give me water. I don’t drink coffee. I don’t drink tea. I don’t drink. Like, you know, when you see it, when you see the impact of something, it’s, it’s really easily to deter you from, from that. Right. So people look at me and call, call me the, the, the, the, the healthy guy, right? So it got a guy told a guy, asked me, he got a guy just without asking, asking me, offer me beer. And I said, no, I don’t drink alcohol. He said, the black guy that does not drink alcohol. And I said, okay, so today your stereotype is me is man, I don’t, I, I’m sorry, I’m sorry. I’m good with water and that, not that. And, and, and I also had an opportunity to educate myself about, I’m not doing any, I’m not attacking any company here in about, in about soda and all that things. So I use to me, it is worth it to stay away from that, because I don’t want to end the way my dad in it. I, at the end, I used a, like, coming from that trip, I, I, the doctor trained me on how to inject insulin. I know how to inject insulin. I’m not, I’m no doctor. Right. And in order challenge was insulin need to be refrigerated. Right. And we have no electricity in our, in our, in our little town. Right. So, and there is, there is, um, one guy who had a generator and who charged for, for refrigerating things. And I had to walk about 15 to 20 minutes there just to bring, to take the insulin back. It was just a nightmare, right? So today I, I have a, you know, zero sort of policy, zero alcohol policy. Um, I speak before I do a lot of fitness, and this is what I want to take to our home countries. Right? We have all these companies that you have here in our countries, and they are selling their goods, nothing wrong with that. But at the same time, we want to educate our communities to understand that there are things that they can do to stay healthy, even without seeing a doctor. And that’s really where we want to emphasize our message, because you want to be in the business of primary care services. To answer your questions in terms of what are the killer in our countries. It’s high blood pressure, diabetes, malaria, right? Diarrhea, those kinds of things. Uh, they call them actually high blood pressure and diabetes. They are core cardiovascular diseases. Right now think about someone who has cardiovascular diseases in public hospitals, where they don’t have a proper, proper resources to look to, to, to, to scan your heart. So the only thing is good luck, right? So we want to do early detections. A lot of prevention’s telling people you are free to drink any whatever it is, but here are some of the points you can think about it. It’s always good to have a Sodo once a week, but not every day. Right? So those are the things that we are, we are in prevention is really, really, really a huge portion of the program that we are running.

Brad:
Oh. And, and, and honestly, um, you know, I think we’re finding more, more and more about this with, just with, with, you know, the, the COVID pandemic that hit everybody, right. I mean, just in very general terms, those that kind of take your philosophy of being healthier, not, uh, you know, not losing, losing sight of your, your health, internal health body, all that, generally speaking, we’re better off than those that were not those that, that suffered from bigger cons or, uh, pre exposed conditions. Or like you said, diabetes, those individuals were at a much, much higher risk for, um, other diseases. And so I think just that simple education, like you said, is, is huge. And I think a lot of folks, um, see that, but, but I don’t know that enough, see that. Right. I don’t know what everybody hears. I don’t know that everybody hears that, honestly, like, soda’s bad for you. I mean, we all know it, but, but, you know, by golly, we all take it. I mean, I –

Nasser:
Yeah. I think one of, I think, no, sorry. I think one of the challenges is it’s people are far away from, from what is bad. It’s, it’s, it’s so remote. If you don’t have it in your family, you might, you might, you might think like, you know, yeah. It sorta is bad, but I’m still, I’m still young. I’m, I’m I’m good internet like it’s, um, it’s, uh, you have to experience the phenomenon to, to understand it. Diabetes is, is, is no good. It is no good. And it is absolutely preventable. Absolutely preventable. I mean, I understand it’s, it’s genetic too, but you can, you can, you can have a lifestyle that can put you in a situation where, where you, where you are, where you have all the odds on your, on your, on your, on your, on your end. And Brad, you rightfully pointed out the, the, the pandemic. It’s also telling us that the way we are doing healthcare has to change absolutely. From north to south east, west developed and, and on the develop. Right? So, um, there are so many things that we were doing just to please, um, the static score. I’m not attacking anyone here, but right. In many occasions, I went just, so I went to the hospital just for a doctor to look at me and telling me that I, that I’m good. And bill my insurance company, right. We were where as this could be done over the phone. Right. Uh, and, and, and, and most of the consultations that, that are happening now are being done over the, over the phone. So why haven’t we thought about it? And that’s where the benefit of not having a system in our countries is an advantage, right? Because now we know we don’t need to waste tons of money building, having infrastructures and not thinking about who is using them and whether they will be able to go there. And whether these infrastructures have the capacity to handle a pandemic, whatever you need to build today, you have to think it from the perspective of the pandemic, right? And the technology gave us that ability, right. To connect people in real time, wherever they are safely, because we don’t just want to think about the safety of the patient. We want to think about the safety of the physicians. A physician has nothing to protect themselves against COVID without their mask. That’s all they have. We don’t want them to get sick. Right. So, so virtual is, is extremely, um, extremely important. And, and in America here, I would urge people to think about their health while they are healthy. Uh, it is a healthy person that gets sick. Once you are healthy, do your checkups think about your diet, think about your family history, uh, and, and think about, think about what you can do to stay fit and to stay, to stay, to stay healthy. I think it would make our society a better society.

Brad:
No doubt. And I, I think even in the beginning of our conversation, you mentioned, um, you know, focusing on the outpatient side of it, um, as opposed to the inpatient side of it, right. I think in the U S a lot of ours is focused on the inpatient building, bigger infrastructure, building hospitals, building beds, building, and you’re right. A lot of the, a lot, most elements actually are, are I know me going to the doctor, um, I’m relatively healthy. I do have my challenges sometimes, but you know, most of them, I go to the doctor and he tells me. Uh, I was getting a phone call is just cutting out my audio. Um, you know, I go to the doctor and I think I have all these problems. And he’s like, oh, you just need to sleep more. You know, you’re not sleeping enough. Like, okay, well, you could have told me that over the phone, you know, and, and the reality is that that’s a, that’s a common, a common challenge, um, you know, or don’t come to the hospital, you’re contagious, you know, and I think that was the biggest thing we learned with COVID was, oh, wait a minute. We all affect each other. Like you said, at the beginning, like we’re one village and one person brings something back to that village. Everybody in the village gets it. And I think the U S finally experienced that with COVID. But that, I mean, that’s been a common challenge around the world, not just because of COVID. I mean, you think about a lot of the, the major contagious diseases. I mean, that’s always been a challenge. It’s just, hasn’t hit home and now that it hit home, people are like, oh, now, now I understand. But, but you’re right. Your, your solution is, is, uh, a solid solution from that perspective, because you’re focusing on how do I, how do I address the most people with and help with the simplest needs? Cause it actually has the biggest impact. And I love that. And obviously it’s going to evolve to, to, to more, um, solving more, you know, more challenges. And I’m sure you’re going to learn a lot over the next year, five years, 10 years of, you know, that’s going to evolve into something else. I don’t know what it is. You probably don’t know what it is yet, or maybe you do, but it’s, uh, it’s gonna keep going in that direction. I’ll tell you. But I certainly, uh, just a lot of things I didn’t know before this conversation, which is great just on, I never even thought of it like inpatient outpatient, because it never, you know, we’re, once again, we’re, we’re very spoiled in the sense that, you know, I can drive 20 minutes, so hospital or I can call an ambulance and they can drive me to the hospital if I really can’t get there. And that’s just, that’s access to those resources just as very scarce around the world. Um, and so finding those solutions is, is, is paramount to making it happen.

Nasser:
I think, I think, uh, I think, I think the blessings of being American is, is underrated. It is a blessing to be American. It is a blessing to have a system that takes care of you, irrespective of your social status. It is a blessing. And I hope people understand that and not take that for granted. America has its challenges, but if you are like, I’ve never been turned down into, into an emergency room here, uh, with, or without a medical insurance. And that’s the kind of society we want to build for our, our communities. Right. And, and I think also the general, the generosity of, of, of American people in terms of caring for each other is just, it’s just contagious. Right? So I think coming here enabled me to understand that if I am able to have healthcare and my family is able to have healthcare, meaning my wife and my two kids before my I’m living here in New York, I ought to provide healthcare to someone’s wife and their children wherever they are in the rest of the world. And that’s, that’s my mission, 8 million in the next five years in Guinea and 100 million, uh, uh, people in the next 10 years in, in, in west Africa and having, and, and that’s, I cannot tell you how much that’s important, where I think that’s my mission. That’s why I was, I was on earth. It is to give these people hope as I get, when I go to the, when I take my child to the emergency room and I, while driving there, I know they will take care of him. Right. It’s not a matter of whether I it’s just, they won’t turn him down as a parent that has no price. And I think we should not take that for granted here, here as well. Um, because it is widely available.

Brad:
Yeah. And I, I just experienced, I have a three-year-old daughter and, uh, she, we, we were, uh, over the weekend, she got a massive splinter, like a two-inch like would splinter like straight into our foot, so you could see it. But she’s a, she’s a three-year-old. So, you know, it she’s like, oh, you know, my, she, at first she was like, my foot’s bleeding. I’m like, well, your foot’s not bleeding. I’m like, oh my gosh, there’s something splinter in it. And so me and my wife are trying to like, get the splinter out ourselves. She’s like, not letting it happen. I got a little bit out, but then she just, she would just kick us, you know, basically that was the end of that. So I’m like, all right, well, if you don’t let us get it out, we gotta, we gotta go to the doctor. But the one thing that I take away from what you said is, is, you know, I just, I comfort her and I’m like, listen, the doctor is going to take care of you. Like he’s going to help you. And, and honestly, but the funniest part about it, it’s not that it’s the fact that they’re going to do the exact same thing I was going to do, but because they have a title doctor, we’re like, oh yeah, we have faith in it, which it works. It does. But you know, when we get there, you want to know what the solution was. Instead of having two people hold her down, it was four people holding her down so they could take the splinter out of it. And so that was the solution was, was four people holding her down because, you know, she was someone had to hold her leg. Two people had to like cradle her, so she wouldn’t move. And then they had, you know, the doctor had to actually use the little splinter tweezers to pull out the massive splinter that was in there. But, you know, so that was, uh, you know, not as dire of a scenario, but, but, uh, you know, putting context to it. That’s how I, it equates to me. And I’m like, you know, we, we do take a lot for granted, but there are a lot of things that can be solved in different ways that we don’t really think about. But anyway, that was a very, a, couple of days ago.

Nasser:
I hope she’s, getting better.

Brad:
Oh, fine. Yeah. Yeah. No, there was no issue at all. Um, yeah, so, so, um, that’s, uh, one more thing. I, I, uh, two more things actually that I had that I wanted to just ask you. So number one, um, is Clinico taking donations right now? Does Clinico take like general public? Like if I wanted to donate, is there a way that, that someone can, can donate to, to your cause or donate to help support your, uh, building the organization?

Nasser:
Absolutely. Absolutely. We have a website, uh, um, www.clinic-o.org, um, again, www.clinic-o.org, if you go there, you can see, uh, we have a donation button, we are taking donations. Uh, we are set to raise, we, we are about to raise $100,000 to buy minivans, to buy tents, to buy medical equipment. And what we want to do is to do more bile medicine, right? So instead of having a static clinic, it’s having a mobile clinic, right. Wherever there is, there is a need, we go there, we provide and we pray and we give, we give a privilege to marginalized communities. So we have raised about 70,000 so far. We are, I think –

Brad:
Oh phenomenal.

Nasser:
Yes, we, we, we, we are, um, still raising more money to, to be able to achieve that. And I will be in Guinea, uh, and, um, and, um, um, reaching, reaching out to, to, to, to patients understanding what works, what didn’t work out. Uh, so, so, so we will be very grateful for any potential donations, um, on our, on our website. And we can also share the link with you so you can, um, can add it, um, probably within, below, below this podcast, if, if necessary. Um, and, and, and, and, and we are, we are also encouraging people to help us share the work that we are doing, uh, because, um, it’s, it’s just a, um, a form of medicine, I think, and I hope that can be adopted even in developed countries, right. A solution is not for developed or developing a solution is a solution, right? So I think at the same way that we are buying ourself a lot of time by seeing what is working here and adapting it in our countries, we hope to, uh, work with academia, um, um, physicians and clinicians to see what is working in our countries. I’m aware there is a healthcare vacuum and, and how can we adapt that to, to the, to, to the system here and make it and make it even more, more efficient?

Brad:
Sure.

Ashley:
I was going to say, I like how you worded it earlier. It’s, you’re just at the precipice of an opportunity for so much, um, like change, positive change. So like you said, depending on whether it’s in an area that already, whether it’s in America or somewhere else, there’s always opportunity for things to be more efficient and effective for the benefit of the people.

Brad:
So, so last question for you, and this is a fun fact, I think you told me, so you, so you were a radio host, right?

Nasser:
Yes. Uh, oh, you are bringing all my energies. This is, this is my, my, this is my, this is my love. So I started doing radio in 26. Uh, I heard I had a show called Africa, 2010. I used to work for the first private radio station in Guinea was really exciting. And, uh, I, um, I started that show Africa 2010 and the vision was to give opportunity to give voice to the voiceless, right? To be opportunity to those who have initiatives. I have yours who want to connect right at that time. Social media was not what it is today. So, um, I did that. Um, I was one of the few journalists who worked, take all my equipment and go underground and do my show on the ground. I like not in the studio underground and talk to people and see where we can, we can connect them. That’s how we connected a lot of artists together. A lot of, a lot of, a lot of farmers. And also that’s how we started building our civil society. So Africa 2010 means at that time in, in 2010, we will be shifting toward democracy because we had an authoritarian regime, but I could not, I wanted to call it gimme 2010 where it was too dangerous to do that because they will know that I was targeting the regime, right. So I call it Africa 2010. And I had through that, I had an opportunity to travel to America in 28 to the foreign press center in the, in, in, in the U S here in collaboration with the us embassy to cover the us general election and the election of president Obama and, uh, and, um, and, uh, Senator McCain. So I had an opportunity to have our into 15 states to see how, how democracy works in, in, in, in inaction, how grassroots organizations works and also how technology works. Because, uh, at that time it was really, it was really, um, an opportunity for me to, to interact with technology. And that’s where I, I developed a passion for political communication, and then later went to GW. And after that, I went back to Guinea, um, after the presidential elections. And I was also invited with the same organizations to cover the integration of president Obama. During my time here, what I was doing is to do live shows, finding, uh, Gideon communities or African communities who speak French and doing live shows, encourage people to understand that democracy is neither black, nor white look, America is today at a phase. And I, and then I was not naive. I was saying like, America has not problem, but I was saying that that America is giving almost everyone a chance to look at today, a, a guy like Barack Obama, who is, um, who has some African heritage, right? Uh, and who lived with, with limited resources. If you read his story, I was able to rise to, to, to, to, to become the most powerful man on earth, right. That, that was really encouraging. And it taught me also, everything is possible, stop being, stop victimizing yourself, just does the yourself and, um, and, and do what you gotta do. And that mentality is still what is motivating me. And when I go back to Guinea, I think I will, I will try to, uh, to do another radio show that is solely focused on healthcare and opportunities. What I mean by healthcare and opportunities. It’s figuring out ways in which I can, I can provide healthcare to people. And then once they are healthy, think about, so what, how can they do something that can lift them out of the poverty look in which they are living on.

Ashley:
That’s exciting. So you’re going to fill us in when you kick that off.

Nasser:
Yeah. So I, I think, um, my boss, my former boss told me that I actually might show is still running. Uh, someone is running it. I have no interest in taking it back. So it’s theirs. So, um, I’m just gonna go back, find some, some time, uh, twice a week, uh, just to talk about what we are doing, because radio is still one of the most powerful, uh, medium in our, in our countries due to lack of electricity and, uh, and so on. So we do is king, and I’m going to use, use that to reach out to more people, talk about ourselves and encourage everyone to, to stay focused on, on healthcare and preventative healthcare.

Ashley:
Yup.

Brad:
Love it. All right. Well, this, this has been fun. Uh, I learned, I learned a lot, certainly I hope that many, many of our listeners out there learned a lot and, you know, honestly, um, with our contacts and connections and, and organizations we work with, I hope, you know, other organizations that are doing the same thing, reach out to you and, and collaborate with you because I think there’s a lot of room to solve. Um, you know, a lot of challenges and, and, you know, obviously you’re taking that first step, but it does. It does, uh, in the old adage, it does take a village to, to solve any challenge. And so certainly any help that can be provided as good. And, you know, I really enjoyed listening to your story and love what you’re doing for the world. It’s a, it’s a great thing, and we appreciate everything you do. So thank you for, uh, being a guest on our show and just sharing your, uh, organization and story with us. We love it.

Nasser:
Thank you so very much. It was really a pleasure to be to in the show and to have an opportunity to speak to your audiences. And, um, I just want to see is also the support you need to say, thank you to America for allowing me to become who I am. Um, I came here, I could not speak any English. I learned English at the New York public library and then went to, uh, George Washington University. And after that, I went to Oxford. So I had my foundation here. So I always adapt to every and any American and I, and I, and if there is anything I can do to help in terms of, uh, being a good citizen, I will continue doing that. Uh, but I could not end this show without saying thank you to keep the fantastic people of this beautiful country. And thank you so much again.

Brad:
Hey warriors. Thanks for tuning in. Make sure to subscribe to Civic Warriors and thanks for all your support. Have a great day.

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