Categories: News Release, TTS

Speetar Inc. (Speetar) is a US-based digital solutions organization that bridges the gap in access to affordable and quality healthcare to conflict-affected communities in Libya. Speetar has received a $300,000 Transition to Scale grant from Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge (CHIC).

TORONTO/BOSTON, June 27, 2023 — Speetar is a digital solutions organization that provides affordable healthcare to conflict-affected communities in Libya. They offer a safer, practical means of seeking healthcare and increases the overall efficiency of Libya’s healthcare system. Founded in 2020 by US-trained Libyan physician, Dr. Mohamed Aburawi, Speetar aims to bridge the gap in equitable access to global medical expertise by attracting doctors from the Libyan diaspora to their virtual telehealth platform and connecting communities with specialist care they otherwise would not have access to. Using a mobile and website application, Speetar offers access to consistent, quality healthcare providers and services specifically tailored to the Libyan context. The introduction of telehealth services using a community-informed approach has been a breakthrough in the Libyan healthcare ecosystem, which has been severely weakened by on-going conflict over the last decade.

Ongoing and protracted conflict and subsequent breakdown in public service provisions in Libya have resulted in critical gaps in healthcare services; 800,000 people require humanitarian assistance and 50% of Libyan households do not have access to healthcare services. [1]  Through CHIC funding, Speetar will deepen its impact on the ground by establishing e-health clinics or “Health Dots” that target rural and marginalized communities in southern Libya. Speetar will train practitioners in under-resourced health centres, enrolling 3,000 households in subsidized healthcare plans and supplying clinics with the diagnostic equipment and digital infrastructure required to implement the telehealth service. They will also attract and connect diaspora doctors to the platform to offer local communities services they would otherwise not have access to, providing equitable access to global medical expertise.  The Health Dot e-clinics will serve up to 30,000 patients and improve access to care for nearly 10,000 conflict-affected Libyans living in the impacted regions.

Speetar will also refine its product to continue to better serve Libya’s most vulnerable populations, improving its SMS and phone support for those with limited internet connectivity and increasing access to women-focused and mental health services. To expand its market and reach other conflict-affected and fragile settings, the organization will develop an offline marketing campaign and digital health, tech, and financial literacy workshops to strengthen user adoption and sales strategies.

Fawad Akbari, the Director of Humanitarian Innovation at Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge, said, “Speetar’s healthcare interventions were a critical tool at the height of the global COVID-19 crisis, acting as the main bridge between the Libyan health system and communities during the pandemic. CHIC’s support will enable Speetar to further improve healthcare access and quality for conflict-affected communities through digital health solutions.”

Speetar’s founder, Dr. Mohamed Aburawi, said, “At Speetar, we’re on a mission to HEAL, advancing well-being for vulnerable communities in emerging markets through scalable and sustainable digital solutions in Health, Education, Advocacy and Leadership.”

CHIC’s innovation funding will prove to be catalytic, further generating evidence that provides a blueprint for the expansion of telemedicine services in Libya and the potential for sustainable impact in other conflict-based regions.

About Creating Hope in Conflict: a Humanitarian Grand Challenge

Creating Hope in Conflict: A Humanitarian Grand Challenge is a partnership of the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.K Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands, and Global Affairs Canada, with support from Grand Challenges Canada. Partners have contributed USD$32.5 million for this Humanitarian Grand Challenge, which was launched in 2018 to enable local organizations, humanitarian agencies, and the private sector to work alongside affected communities to respond more nimbly to complex emergencies, address the unprecedented magnitude of suffering around the world, and empower people to create better lives for themselves.

About Speetar

Speetar Inc. (‘Speetar’) is a US-based digital solutions organization that provides safe and affordable services to vulnerable, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities in Libya. The Speetar telehealth platform offers appointments and instant consultations with physicians via text, audio, video or phone calls, meeting the needs of patients with low technological, financial, and health literacy. Speetar offers access to consistent, quality healthcare providers and services specifically tailored to local countries’ health contexts.

Speetar was founded in 2019 by Dr. Mohamed Aburawi, a surgeon and tech entrepreneur who was trained in medicine and surgery in Libya and the United States. He received a Master of Public Administration from Harvard Kennedy School, before perusing an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management.

For more information, please contact:

Hawa Noor
Associate Communications Officer
Humanitarian Grand Challenge
[email protected]

[1] 2021 UN Humanitarian Needs Review, https://2021.gho.unocha.org/inter-agency-appeals/middle-east-and-north-africa/