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Ayman Sabae

Photo of Ayman Sabae

Fellow Ayman Sabae from 2019 Obama Foundation Fellows.

Giza, Egypt

Adapting ideas into solutions and putting them into action

If Disney Ran Your Hospital: 9 1/2 Things You Would Do Differently by Fred Lee

In Egypt, 62 percent of total health care expenditures are paid out-of-pocket, making basic health care out of reach for many families. Healthcare costs are considered the number one reason that Egyptian families drop below the poverty line. Quality of services is uneven, government reform to the sector is slow, and citizens are disempowered to change the system – lacking the tools to navigate health care services, advocate for themselves, or hold providers accountable for quality care.

Shamseya (Opens in a new tab) is a social enterprise creating participatory approaches to health care. Through a range of technology tools, Shamseya puts people at the center of health care decision-making, leading to improved access, accountability, and outcomes for patients in Egypt. Their community monitoring tool allows citizens to assess and choose between over 500 hospitals in all 12 governorates of the country. Results from these assessments get turned into recommendations that Shamseya delivers to hospital management teams, working alongside them to implement improvements. In addition to their technology efforts, which mobilize thousands of users each month, Shamseya is leading communities to advocate for health care issues, including making palliative and end-of-life care available, accessible, and affordable to all patients in need and training community members in early detection of avoidable blindness in children. Shamseya’s approach empowers Egyptian citizens to make the health care system work for all.

"Taking the community mobilization model my company developed in Egypt to monitor public healthcare services in remote rural areas in Tunisia validated the significance of this work. Seeing it in action and producing results in a totally different context is a success story that is special to me."

My initial expectations from the Fellowship revolved around getting technical support in the management of my organization. What I got was far more pivotal to my story. Through the encounters, guidance and numerous inspiring moments and ideas, my organization grew stronger, my team's stories were better told and our impact was magnified. Most importantly, I learned how to take care of myself. I believe I am now a more wholesome person, parent, leader and global citizen.

Charles Daniels’s story and work completely defined my first encounter with the Fellowship. The way he took his personal story and turned it into work I admire was most inspiring to me. The challenges faced by the Fellows taught me lessons I couldn't have learned in decades.