Soon after I became pregnant, my mother got diagnosed with cancer. After my daughter Ameena was born, I spent a few months in Bangladesh to be by my mother's side. It's fair to say I was pretty native till then, and being with them during this time gave me a whole new perspective on what women who are suffering go through in a country like Bangladesh. There was a massive gap in being able to access high quality, locally relevant information and expert advice. There had to be a better way I found there to be a massive gap and the goal then was to provide high quality, locally relevant content to women, mostly mothers. In my own, small way, I set up a blog, Maya (named after my mother), and began to write about her challenges and my own experiences as a new mother, hoping that other women would benefit from this kind of content. Perhaps gradually we could form a community where knowledge could be exchanged freely without fear of judgement.
Since then Maya pivoted a few times. We progressed from a blog, to a text-based consultation service. After receiving some initial funding in 2015, we became mobile-first, Bangla first and later realised that 40% of our users were in fact male. Now Maya is delivering high quality, primary health, and mental health consultations guided by doctors and therapists and powered by AI.
I see a world where anyone who suffers, whether its a physical condition, depression, anxiety, stress is not alone - they can quickly find a professional doctor or counselor online who are trained to listen without any biases in a safe environment and gets the service they are looking for wherever they are comfortable from and more importantly when they most need it.
The questions and cases we see in Maya are not specific to Bangladesh, in fact, these problems and taboos persist globally. We'll continue to improve the service powered by deep tech and expand our reach, but for now, it's important we keep reminding everyone that if there's a problem, "It's okay to ask".
Maya is with you.
Ivy Huq Russell
Founder & CEO
Our service has been committed to reinventing the way people in developing countries access expert advice and share knowledge. By eliminating the social, financial and geographic barriers to accessing expert advice on health and psychosocial issues; Maya aims to be everyone's personal wellbeing assistant.
The People Powering Maya
Medical Team Lead
“Learning never exhausts the mind.”
Mental Health Lead
"It’s a beautiful world and we’re here to make it more beautiful."
"I want to make the world a better place by serving mankind."
"I am a social worker and I love to help the ones in need."
"I enjoy helping others build trust upon themselves.."
"Emphasis on mental health is crucial for a person’s well-being"
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