Andrew Bastawrous is s a serial social entrepreneur who has dedicated his life to empower less well off communities to help themselves.
An ophthalmologist (Eye Surgeon) and clinical lecturer in International Eye Health based at the International Centre for Eye Health at the prestigious London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, Bastawrous has worked and undertaken research in Sierra Leone, Peru, Belize, Sri Lanka, Madagascar, Uganda and has recently returned from living in Kenya where he was leading a major eye disease study and the development and testing of PEEK, the Portable Eye Examination Kit.
PEEK is a new smartphone based tool to detect eye diseases in the world’s most challenging areas. In 2009, Andrew received the Lachlan McNeill Scholarship for his work in Sierra Leone. In 2011 he was awarded the first Medical Research Council and Fight for Sight PhD Fellowship to perform a longitudinal population-based study of eye disease in Africa, the first of its kind.
He was further awarded the International Glaucoma Association Award and a pump-priming grant from the British Council for the Prevention of Blindness to further the development of novel mobile phone based technologies for use in resource-poor settings.
Andrew also won the Max Perutz Science Writing Award from the Medical Research Council and his article was subsequently printed in the Metro Newspaper and was followed up by the BBC, receiving global media coverage. He was made a TED Fellow in 2014 and his TED talk has now been viewed close to one million times.
In 2014 Andrew was awarded the €100,000 Mazda Rebels with a Cause Prize (in partnership with TED) and the Gifted Citizen 2014 Award worth $100,000 presented at the Ciudad de las Ideas in Mexico. He was recently voted one of the world’s 30 most influential people in public health, one of the world’s “Top 40 Ophthalmologists under the age of 40” by The Ophthalmologist magazine and was selected as a “Young Global Leader” by the World Economic Forum.
Bastawrous is on the scientific steering committee for TED and the eHealth working group for the International Coalition for Trachoma Control and is listed as an “Eye Health Leader” by the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness. PEEK recently ran one of the top-ten of all time crowd-funding campaigns in the health sector on Indiegogo which, together with prize money, has enabled the enterprise to bring PEEK Retina to market.
ANdrew has published over 35 peer-reviewed articles focusing on international eye health and mobile technology in healthcare and has co-authored four book chapters. He is also working with astrophysicists to crowd source retinal data, TED Fellows to map health systems, National Geographic explorers to reach isolated communities and in the meantime, together with his wife Madeleine has established a social enterprise bakery in Kenya that provides employment and the profits from which pay for eye care locally.
As a speaker Andrew is eloquent and inspiring and he shares his story and with passion and energy. His experience in finding practical and affordable solutions to widespread but little addressed problems of the deprived, through the use of technology and collaborative networks is a kind of wake up call for us all.
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