Doctors get recognition from Schwab Foundation


doctors---textSargent and Darkoh will actively contribute to and benefit from peer-to-peer exchanges with other social entrepreneurs, as well as interactions with top leaders in business, government, civil society and the media.(Image: Primeape-Movement)

The founders of BroadReach Healthcare have both been awarded the 2015 Social Entrepreneur of The Year Award by the Schwab Foundation, for excellence in health care.

Doctors John Sargent and Ernest Darkoh, alongside 31 other social entrepreneurs, will join the Schwab network of more than 250 social entrepreneurs from 60 countries. Over the years, each of the people in the network has received such an award from the foundation.

BroadReach Healthcare provides services and products leading to improved access, better health outcomes and well-being for under-served communities.

Foundation co-founder and chairperson Hilde Schwab said: “Social entrepreneurs are visionaries but are also realists, and are ultimately concerned with the practical implementation of scalable solutions.”

The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship is a sister organisation of the World Economic Forum (WEF). It recognises social entrepreneurs working in the fields of health, education, employment, gender, finance and environmental sustainability.

“The 33 outstanding social entrepreneurs we have selected into the Schwab Foundation community this year are designing transformative models in collaboration with government and business partners to generate truly inclusive growth,” she said. “As such, social entrepreneurs represent an integral and dynamic community of the World Economic Forum.”

The two doctors are not the only South African recipients of this award: Sharanjeet Shan of Maths Centre, a local NPO, is also among the 33 who received the recognition.

David Aikman, the managing director of the WEF, said: “We are seeing greater appetite among other stakeholder groups of the forum to learn from social innovation models and collaborate with social entrepreneurs in innovative ways.

“I am confident this trend will only continue to grow in the future, and the World Economic Forum is proud to be at the forefront of catalysing partnerships among these stakeholder groups for social and environmental change.”

Sargent and Darkoh will actively contribute to and benefit from peer-to-peer exchanges with other social entrepreneurs, as well as interactions with top leaders in business, government, civil society and the media.

Sargent said: “The impact and work of the social entrepreneur depends on a number of factors, importantly the contributions and work of those around them and the partnerships they enjoy. In Ernest’s and my instance, this includes the many people at BroadReach Healthcare who help make our vision a reality in sometimes trying and often uncertain circumstances. We thank them all.

“We also thank the Schwab Foundation for this recognition of our work in contributing to the delivery of the fundamental human right of effective and accessible health care, and for opening the doors to what we believe will be further enriching partnerships with other social entrepreneurs entering, or already part of, the Schwab network.”


In September 2014, BroadReach Healthcare formally launched its Health Command Centre in Cape Town, in the Western Cape. The centre is an online platform that supports health sector decision-making through the use of strategic analytics and advanced visual data.

Using the Health Command Centre platform, health sector managers, funders, partner organisations, and policymakers can view integrated data on various aspects of the health system, such as performance, challenges, resources, and infrastructure. At the click of a button, users can view the geographic distribution of pharmacies, clinics and schools, and map out transportation routes to explore a patient’s ability to access services.

Sargent, who is the co-founder of the centre, said: “Our vision is that the Health Command Centre will become the leading platform for high quality data and advanced analytics for the African continent and other key emerging markets.

“We are very excited that a number of other countries have expressed a strong interest in rolling out this platform.”