Community | SEWF Events

An interview with Arthur Lima, founder and CEO of Afrosaúde

by Mirabelle Morah / September 2021

As well as a dentist, Arthur Lima is the founder and CEO of AfroSaúde, Healthtech that creates health technologies for the Afro-Brazilian population. He was recognised by Forbes Magazine in the “Forbes Under 30” list and recognised by MIPAD 100 as One of the Most Influential People of African Descent Under 40.

Why did you decide to hop into AfroSaúde?

“I decided to create AfroSaúde after realising how low racial diversity in healthcare is, thinking from the side of the caregiver. In addition, Afro-Brazilians are increasingly seeking to consume products and services that are representative and this includes healthcare. Historically, health is Eurocentric, and by providing opportunities to connect Afro-Brazilian patients and health professionals, we manage to move important issues such as a more attentive look at health care and representation. Some researches have already shown how important diversity on the caregiver’s side is for patients to have more adherence to treatment, to feel more welcomed, etc. That’s why our platform has professionals from different areas such as medicine, psychology, nutrition, dentistry and many others.”

What were some of AfroSaúde’s response projects to COVID-19?

“Between March and August 2020, right at the beginning of the pandemic, we decided to create a social responsibility project called ‘Telecorona da Periferia’ (Telecorona of the outskirts). From the beginning, we already imagined that the pandemic would be more serious in the black and poorest population in Brazil, and this proved to be true. So, we did a matchfunding (crowdfunding) to create a free multi-professional health telephone centre, with doctors, nurses, nutritionists and other volunteer professionals, who provided teleservice and teleorientation for communities in the city of Salvador, in northeastern Brazil. Professionals provided guidance on how to lead in the face of signs and symptoms of COVID-19, and how to apply conscious and correct use of medications and nutritional guidelines. We served more than 500 families in the region and we were able to show that health technologies can be accessible and democratic, as access was by telephone. We were able to include people who had or didn’t have smartphones and people who didn’t have internet access.”

As an SEWF 2021 speaker, why do others need to join the social enterprise conversation?

“I believe we need to expand the dialogue on social entrepreneurship. Mainly here in Brazil. The way of consumption has changed a lot in recent years and today, people are looking to consume products and services that make sense. In other words: that embrace a social agenda or solve a collective problem. Making people access more events such as SEWF 2021 broadens the debate on the topic and awakens society’s view in relation to the creation of new products and projects that work with social and environmental issues. There are a range of problems out there that need to be resolved.”

Any new projects right now that you’d like to share with the SEWF community? 

“Now that we have a complete health platform focused on racial diversity, with appointment scheduling, online payment and telemedicine, we want to expand our services to black people from Portuguese-speaking countries or those in the diaspora, to expand the connection between black patients and professionals who work in health, further promoting the use of technology to drive diversity in health. We want to expand our product to Afro-Latinos, Portugal, UK and Mozambique.”

Arthur Lima is a 2021 SEWF Speaker. Designed by and for social enterprises, #SEWF2021 is the event for the global social enterprise community. Join this event to connect with thousands of leading social entrepreneurs, access world-class content and be part of the world’s largest social enterprise conversation! Get your ticket here now.

Also read:  Rural Manifesto: A call for global collaboration 
Mirabelle Morah is the community and communications manager at SEWF