Medifund - Aiming to help everybody afford the dream of being a doctor
Jossy Onwude is a medical student at Southwestern University’s Mham College of Medicine in the city of Cebu in Philippines. He loves playing football and coaching too. Pursuing his dream and loving every bit of it, Jossy is a quintessential college student – learning, playing, having fun with friends and putting in his best to become a doctor. One of Jossy’s friends, Kristine Bless, suddenly ran into financial crisis and her family and relatives could not pay her tuition fees anymore. Jossy knew that Kristine needed help.
Jossy tried searching for some way or the other to help her raise funds to continue her education and follow her dream of becoming a doctor. After searching for a while and not finding any help, Jossy and Kristine did not know how to tackle this situation. The circumstances opened Jossy’s eyes to a much larger problem – of the lack of doctors in the world. And a very large contributing factor to this problem is high tuition fees of medical colleges inhibiting a lot of young and dedicated people from pursuing medicine.
While finding a solution for his friend, Jossy found a larger problem to solve. He was determined to solve it not only for Kristine but for any student who wants to pursue medicine and is held back because he/she can’t afford it. Jossy, along with his team which he found at startup weekend in Cebu, started Medifund with a vision to create more doctors across the globe by funding medical students.
Medifund is crowdfunding platform which supports medical students who are struggling to pay their course expenses. Anyone in medical school or wanting to go to medical school but holding back because of financial problems can apply to be funded on Medifund. It will be open to people all over the globe though they are starting with English speaking Asian and African countries.
Jossy told us about the much wider problem that Medifund is trying to solve. He shares that many countries are facing doctor shortages, especially for primary care doctors. The shortages are particularly acute in Asia and Africa.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that to provide a sufficient number of healthcare workers in sub-Saharan African countries, the workforce would need to be scaled by as much as 140 percent. African patients account for 24 percent of those suffering from diseases worldwide, but they are served by only 2 percent of the world's physicians, and they spend only 1 percent of the world's healthcare expenditures.
Statistics for Southeast Asia are similar. Patients in the region have 29 percent of the world's diseases and 11 percent of the world's physicians. The region accounts for only 1 percent of global healthcare expenditures.
Being around the medical system, seeing the shortcomings and an also meeting medical students with financial problems keeps Jossy motivated. To build and scale Medifund, they are going to charge 5 percent on every successfully funded student and will also be accepting donations. To establish credibility of students applying to be funded, they have worked a way that enables students to gain trust badges when they upload more credentials like parents financial status, recommendation letter from school etc. Medifund won't give funds to student directly but will send it to their schools.With a noble mission of helping in creating more doctors across the globe and improving the healthcare facilities, Medifund has started their journey and it is just the first step. The magnitude of problem is much larger than visible through the naked eyes and team Medifund is determined to do their bit to solve it.