Tomas Sanabria is a social entrepreneur working to improve the quality of healthcare in Venezuela. Tomas is the Managing Director and Founder of Fundacion Proyecto Maniapure. Prior to his position, Tomas worked as a doctor to service rural Venezuelans. Tomas realized these vulnerable communities and fellow doctors are in need of available resources such as telecommunications and wireless technology. Out of these necessities, Tomas developed his organization to formalize partnerships between advanced medical facilities, specialist doctors and local health organizations to create ambulatory outpatient services with higher quality equipment. Through his leadership, the sustainable organization is helping clinics improve their service offerings to patients in primary and subspecialty care.
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- Hybrid Social Enterprise
- Global Health; Fourth Industrial Revolution
- Areas of Impact
- Latin America, Venezuela, Bolivia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Peru
Maniapure provides access to quality healthcare and specialized telemedicine services for those living in regions with limited access to healthcare and services in Venezuela and Ecuador, with pilot projects in Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and Peru.
In Venezuela, doctors are required to do rotations in rural, isolated areas as part of their training. Maniapure relies on these practitioners to formalize partnerships between advanced medical facilities, specialist doctors and local health organizations to create ambulatory outpatient services with higher quality equipment. Over time these clinics incorporated wireless technologies (two-way radios, satellite phones and satellite internet) to connect with specialists in Caracas and other major cities for consultation and treatment options for rural patients. Maniapure’s approach is providing formerly unavailable treatment options and services to three states in Venezuela and three states in Ecuador, with increasing operations in peripheral urban areas where the model has proven useful and feasible.
Families that visit Maniapure’s telemedicine clinics and Maniapure local doctors have been spared the difficult and often prohibitively expensive journeys to cities for proper medical care, and are able to connect with highly specialized doctors who guide local clinicians in diagnosis and treatment. Each Maniapure clinic serves an average population of between 3,000 and 5,000. In Centro La Milagrosa de Maniapure, the original pilot site, 4,000 patients receive treatment annually. Nearly 95% of the patients across all clinics are effectively treated by local health technicians, with only 5% needing the telemedicine specialist consultations. Of those 5%, 80% can be treated at local centres by Maniapure doctors and only 20% require transport to Caracas or other major cities for in-person treatment. For that small minority of patients, Maniapure arranges all transport and appointments, minimizing the time patients are away from home and the time commitment of the specialists.