When children get sick, they need the reassurance of a specialist, caring environment that gives them comfort, specialist care and advice, and understanding. In Mozambique, Kidz Kare Centro Médico Infanto-Juvenil, founded by entrepreneur Annette Cassy, does just that.
LoA learned more about this impact driven business venture this month from its founder, Annette Cassy.
What does your company do?
Kidz Kare is a doctor's office that treats children, adolescents and young people. At Kidz Kare, services are created to give patients and parents greater comfort, trying to preserve the maximum of their time and quality of life.
“Something that also motivated me to create Kidz Kare was to believe that the services provided in hospitals in general could be improved.”
What inspired you to start your company?
I am passionate about children and paediatrics. Something that always made me sad was that the children were afraid when they went to the hospital so I thought I should create a cosy space where the children could enjoy being there and realize that the hospital is for their good and not a punishment as they think. Something that also motivated me to create Kidz Kare was to believe that the services provided in hospitals in general could be improved. From the time that is lost in waiting rooms to the annoyance of not being attended to in a more personalized way and with the greatest of care and affection for our patients. In Kidz Kare, besides treating, we want to spread love and good energies.
Why should anyone use your service or product?
One of the main objectives of Kidz Kare is innovation and continuous improvement so we try to merge our values with the technological advance. We developed an App to help parents monitor their children's growth and development, follow the immunization schedule, access feeding tips in the first year of life, and also information on domestic accidents (major causes, how to act when they happen and how to prevent them). Also, we use virtual reality to reduce the psychological pain when we have to collect blood or administer vaccines.
“In Kidz Kare, besides treating, we want to spread love and good energies.”
Tell us a little about your team
Kidz Kare is a young and dynamic team, made up from basic technicians to specialized health professionals. Interestingly, some of the team members had no experience in the area (except doctors and nurses). Administrative and auxiliary staff have not previously worked in clinics or doctors' offices and we see this not as a disadvantage but as an opening for us to create and shape a service to our desire and quality of standards. A task that is done continuously is to try to convey the Kidz Kare's vision and goals to the team so that they can feel confident and have the freedom to create and improve the service and above all feel that they have a key role in this project, always encouraging personal growth.
Share a little about your entrepreneurial journey. And, do you come from an entrepreneurial background?
For years I dreamed of having a business but I did not know what to do, I knew I wanted to open a business in my area of work (health). In 2014 I started a company with two partners in the school health area but unfortunately, we ended up closing as each of us had other priorities (I started my PhD and the other two ended up traveling). My husband is a dentist and has his practice and I think that was the biggest influence I had in the area of entrepreneurship.
What are your future plans and aspirations for your company?
My dream is to have a paediatric referral hospital. Unfortunately the quality of health services in Mozambique is still below desirable, so my goal is to create an international reference paediatric service and train health professionals and help the Mozambican health system to grow and improve. I would like to be able to assist children in need, with diseases that public hospitals cannot provide care for, and I would also like to be the first option for those who would normally seek treatment outside the country. In the end, I believe that our health system can improve and that child mortality can be significantly reduced. I want to be able to do my best to contribute to that improvement.
“We developed an App to help parents monitor their children's growth and development, follow the immunization schedule, access feeding tips in the first year of life, and also information on domestic accidents (major causes, how to act when they happen and how to prevent them).”
What gives you the most satisfaction being an entrepreneur?
The fact that I can turn my dreams into reality. I often compare the Kidz Kare with a painting of an artist, the Kidz Kare is my painting and in it is reflected everything that comes inside of me, what is in my soul and in my heart.
What's the biggest piece of advice you can give to other women looking to start-up?
I think there are two secrets to opening a start-up:
Do something that you really enjoy doing and preferably in your area of expertise.
Let it be a solution to a problem that bothers you because if it bothers you, you will always try to solve it in the best way possible so that it is no longer a bother. Sometimes you will bring a solution that no one has ever thought of because nobody has ever bothered enough to create a solution.
(bonus) Believe in yourself! No one will have a vision of your dream better than you.
Contact or follow Kidz Kare
Why LoA loves it….
At Lionesses of Africa, we love hearing the stories of women entrepreneurs who positively change lives through their businesses and actions. In Mozambique, Annette Cassy is doing just that, helping children to deal with their illnesses in the most understanding and empathetic of environments. Importantly, she is also harnessing the power of technology to help parents to keep their children healthy through preventative interventions and wellbeing advice. Annette is a real inspiration to others who want to improve the health of Africa’s children. --- Melanie Hawken, founder and ceo of Lionesses of Africa