Roberto Kikawa

CIES Global
Year founded: 

CIES Project delivers specialized, humanized, high technology preventive medical care to communities in need through the use of advanced mobile medical centres.

Focus: Health
Geographic Area of Impact: Brazil
Model: Hybrid Organization, Non-Governmental Social Enterprise
Number of Direct Beneficiaries: 60,000 (2012)
Annual Budget: US$ 1,829,000 (2012)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 95%
Recognition: Social Entrepreneur of the Year, Brazil, 2010

In Brazil, 148 million people (76% of the population) depend upon the low-quality public health system. Many of them must wait months or years to get medical attention at public hospitals in the largest cities, where doctors are overworked.

Innovation and Activities
CIES Project applies an innovative approach in two ways. First, it employs a unique, self-sufficient business model integrating civil society, government (municipal, state and federal) and private companies (local and national) in a combined effort to “treat-educate-prevent”. Second, it uses advanced technology in its mobile health centres to offer services in more than ten medical specialties. Presently, its “Health Truck” is the world’s only mobile unit that incorporates exam and surgery rooms applicable to ten medical specialties. In a single day, 250 people can receive care at an average cost of BRL 19 (US$ 10) each. In four years the project has served more than 100,000 people in 28 cities across six Brazilian states, and has attracted the interest of about 50 other cities in the country and abroad.

After visiting different Brazilian cities and assessing the various needs and local economic, structural and socio-educational conditions, the need to design and develop two new innovative mobile structures was indicated. The "Health Box" is a container-like structure measuring 7.5m x 2.5m, which is easily transported by a tow truck, catamaran or raft, to service populations living in places like the Upper Amazon Basin. It consists of a stand-alone mobile health system incorporating a 28m2 living space, capable of addressing a maximum of four specialties. The Health Box targets city populations of 50,000-150,000 inhabitants, or locations requiring between four and seven medical specialties at the same time.

The "Health Van" (VDS) is a mobile unit that transports equipment for digital radiology exams and ultrasound/echocardiography, with complete connectivity to a central unit of larger size if required. This unit targets cities with less than 50,000 people or locations needing less than three medical specialties at the same time. VDS is an ideal model for mountainous regions like the slums in Rio de Janeiro, Santos and other steep terrain areas.

This inclusive portfolio of three types of mobile health units allows the CIES Project to meet any population’s needs, fulfilling its mission of "providing mobile healthcare without borders".

The Entrepreneur
Roberto Kikawa, a renowned Brazilian gastroenterologist, was introduced to medicine as a child, through learning first-aid as a member of the Scouts. Years later he witnessed his father battle cancer; after his death Kikawa decided to become a doctor committed to quality medical services. In addition to being responsible for endoscopy services in a number of hospitals, he is a professor and the Clinical Director at Sao Camilo Hospital. He has served as the head of the CIES Project since its inception in 2008.