African women bear a huge burden of disease and death during their reproductive years with over 500 women dying daily in Sub-Saharan Africa (WHO) and many more are living in pain from preventable sexual and reproductive health issues. This is caused by factors such as stigma, poor social support, inadequate dissemination of information, faulty cultural beliefs, limited access to healthcare products, and services.
Despite being plagued by chronic inefficiencies such as long lines, unpredictable hours, and uncertain quality, the health sectors of many emerging markets remain largely unchanged by new technology. Patients rely on word of mouth recommendations to choose providers – a daunting task in Vietnam, where there are over 50,000 private clinics alone. Doctors rarely have access to comprehensive patient medical records and spend much of their time seeking new patients and filling out paperwork. Patients, in turn, find themselves undergoing overly short consultations and multiple visits to doctors and specialists with virtually no coordination of care.
As a physician and a trans woman, I have been both a patient and a medical provider of gender-affirming care. I have provided gender-affirming care training to many academic institutions and healthcare facilities. It has always been my passion to make healthcare better for all patients and medical providers, and I have seen the pain points and the many barriers which keep trans people out of the healthcare system. Our goal at Plume is to eliminate these barriers and create a space that provides safe, expert, convenient, and radically affirming care to support folks in their gender journey – and we will continue to be motivated to do this work until that is the case for every trans person.
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