This Black Brazilian Duo Created An App To Connect Non-White Brazilians With Culturally Sensitive Medical Professionals
Since its launch, AfroSaúde has helped 2,000 patients to find and book consultations with nearly 1,000 black professionals in Brazil, including medical practitioners, dentists, and therapists.
Payment for the consultations is made through the AfroSaúde platform, which takes a commission.
Igor Leo Rocha, a journalist, who suffers from folliculitis, a bacterial condition whereby hair grows back into the skin when it is cut, causing painful inflammation, launched the platform in 2019 with his partner Arthur Lima.
Their reasons? Rocha told the FT that many doctors he saw prescribed “strong medication that made it worse. I then realized my problem was specific to black skin and that I had never been seen by a black doctor.”
While Lima, who also works as a dentist, told the newspaper that he noticed a demand for medical services that met the needs of black patients. “I was asked for suggestions of black dentists for a patient who felt she had been discriminated against by a white dentist.”
Data from the 2018 Medical Demographics, developed by the Federal Council of Medicine (CFM), show that Brazil has about 450,000 doctors registered by the body.
However, despite the survey not informing the color of its subscribers, data from the Census of Higher Education indicate that black medical students are a minority.
Studies by Insper, with data collected by Pnad, show that among those who graduated from public universities, black women have an average salary of R$6,370.30, while white men earn R$15,055.84.
In the doctors who studied medicine in private institutions, the remuneration is R$ 3,723.49 and R$ 8,638.68, respectively.
This sad statistic precedes another alarming fact related to the job market in Brazil: black workers earn, on average, R$ 1,200 less than white workers (IBGE), according to statistics published on the Afrosaude site.
The website states: “In order to minimize the effects of structural racism in the health area and facilitate the access of patients to black health professionals, AfroSaúde created a platform through which one can search, schedule and receive face-to-face and online care.”
On the platform, the professional can gain visibility and serve their patients and have the electronic medical record, digital prescription, and send exam requests.
To search for a professional and schedule an appointment, register and access the platform for free. In addition to the web platform, the application is available for Android phones.