COVID-19 has exacerbated public health concerns in Libya as the country approaches 10 consecutive years of political turmoil and civil war. In 2020 alone, health facilities have been targeted in at least 15 attacks, making hospitals unsafe for both doctors and patients. Amid a global pandemic, the safety of public health facilities is an incredibly severe issue for Libyans. The rapid-spreading coronavirus compounds the danger of visiting a hospital during a civil war. However, doctors from diaspora communities hope to relieve some of Libya’s health and safety concerns through the use of innovative telehealth platforms like Speetar.
The Story Behind Speetar
Speetar is a telehealth platform that holds promise for the health and safety of Libyans amid the civil war and global pandemic. Speetar is redesigning healthcare delivery through its app that connects doctors from diaspora communities with people in their home countries that need prompt medical care.
Mohamed Aburawi (2020-2021 Legatum Fellow), the co-founder of Speetar, completed medical school in Libya before relocating to the U.S. for his Harvard fellowship. Libya’s shortage of doctors is primarily due to physicians fleeing the country for safety concerns or pursuing further medical training abroad. Recognizing that he was contributing to this issue, Aburawi sought to create a telehealth platform that allowed himself and other Libyan doctors who had left the country for similar reasons to serve patients in Libya.