Call for healthcare innovation awards entries: Malawi won last year

Entries are being sought for the second annual US$1 million (about K400m) Healthcare Innovation Award from developing countries across the world, Save the Children and GSK have announced.

The announcement, made Monday at a Partnership for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health meet in South Africa, stated that the aim is to “identify and reward innovations in healthcare that have proven successful in reducing child deaths in developing countries.”

Last year Malawi’s Friends of Sick Children (FOSC) – a non-governmental organisation – scooped first position for their “’bubble’ Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) kit which demonstrates the impact of simple, low cost innovations.”

A nurse using  a mobile application offering real-time access to health data as a way to improve diagnosis and treatment of common diseases that afflict women and children. Photo by: GSK

A nurse using a mobile application offering real-time access to health data as a way to improve diagnosis and treatment of common diseases that afflict women and children. Photo by: GSK

FOSC was granted an award of $400,000, which along with backing from the Ministry of Health in Malawi, will enable them and their partners to share this life-saving technology with teaching hospitals in Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa, information sourced by Nyasa Times revealed.

The innovation helps babies that are in respiratory distress, often caused by acute infections like pneumonia, by keeping their lungs inflated so that they can breathe more easily, Nyasa Times learnt.

According to health experts, a similar version is already commonly used in developed countries where they cost US$6 000 each. FOSC’s adaptation costs only about US$400.

A press statement which Nyasa Times has seen stipulated that between “27 June – 25 August, 2014, organisations from across the developing world can nominate examples of innovative healthcare approaches they have discovered or implemented.

“These approached must have resulted in tangible improvements to under-5 child survival rates, be sustainable and have the potential to be scaled-up and replicated.”

The statement further hinted that this year’s special interest will be given to work that aims to increase the quality of, or access to, healthcare for newborns.

Further details on the judging process and criteria can be found online at http://myg.sk/HealthcareInnovationAward. The closing date is on 25th of August 2014 at 11:59pm (GMT).

Winners will be announced in December.

Research shows that while good progress has been made in recent years, every year 6.2 million children worldwide still die before their fifth birthday, mostly in remote and marginalized communities.

The GSK and Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award aims to discover and encourage replication of the best and most innovative examples of healthcare to have the biggest impact for vulnerable children.

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