The story of La Ruche Health dates back to the mid 80’s where 2 Irish nurses, Shirley Assandey and Lorna Kingston, practiced midwifery in the remote village of Bécédi, in the South-East of Côte d'Ivoire.
For over 30 years combined, Lorna and later Shirley, supported local healthcare staff in caring for at-risk prenatal and postpartum patients.
These two veteran health workers are the aunt and mother, respectively, of La Ruche Health founder, Rory Assandey. Their incredible experiences and accounts are fully deserving of its own book.
We aim to strengthen the management of health data, starting with primary care, across the continent. It is evident that poor data management is linked to medical errors, high mortality rates, and deficient population health monitoring. La Ruche Health will play a leading role in the implementation of fundamental technological building blocks that drive digital health across the global south.
We want to increase access to essential health services. We observe the lack of access to such services and its direct link to failed preventative care, avoidable deaths, and poverty. In Côte d’Ivoire, for example, an estimated 90% of the population do not have access to adequate health cover. By introducing Health Hub, we will incentivize patients to be more engaged in their own health with an accessible reward system that democratizes health services including but not limited to reimagined health cover.
We see significant losses of revenue which are linked to fraud in the billing, pharmaceutical supply chain, and the insurance claims process. We will introduce transparency and accountability here so that facilities can combat the loss in revenue, and reinvest the profits into critical resources such as staff, training, beds, medical equipment etc.
In focusing on these aforementioned objectives, we can increase performance rankings when it comes to healthcare performance and equity within the regions we serve. We track these using ranking methodologies that include ‘Efficiency on the composite index’ and ‘Performance on the HAQ index’.
In 1987, ½ of all deaths in Côte d'Ivoire were children under the age of five. Shirley and her elder sister Lorna Kingston, along with their team, lead a Maternal Health Care (MHC) center that contributed significantly to the betterment of these conditions by transferring knowledge of effective healthcare education and delivery.
From the 80’s to the early 2000s, this team of health care workers at ‘La martenite et dispensaire de becedi’, a centre owned by the order, “Sœurs de la charité de Notre-Dame d'Évron” drove the execution of immunization programs against poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, tuberculosis, yellow fever, and measles with considerable short and long term success.
Healthcare education, immunization programs and improvements in clinical processes and sanitary standards were all building blocks that led to the country’s preparedness for outbreaks such as Ebola in 2014, Dengue fever in 2017 and most recently COVID19 in 2020 being judged a success by the global health community.
Since 2021, Rory leads a small team of social impact dreamers united in a mission to make access to healthcare the norm for all. Just like in the 80’s when Rory’s father Yao Assandey transported women in need of urgent care to nearby clinics and Shirley’s team treated them with often limited resources, La Ruche Health in 2022 is empowering care recipients to connect to primary care services and healthcare teams to efficiently manage data at the point of care and follow on support. We are tearing down barriers to access and adoption of digital health tools by applying appropriate technologies, cultural understanding and a smart business model that shifts the burden of cost away from the beneficiaries.