GSK and Save the Children have launched their fourth annual $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award, which rewards innovations in healthcare that help to reduce child deaths in developing countries and have the potential to reach even more children.
In Ghana in 2013, approximately seven in one hundred children died before their fifth birthday and there is a distinct survival gap between children from wealthy and disadvantaged families – children born into the poorest 20% of urban households are three times as likely to die by the age of five as children in the richest 20%.
This year, until 7 September, organisations from across the country can nominate innovative healthcare approaches they have implemented. These innovations must have resulted in tangible improvements to under-5 child survival, be sustainable and have the scope to be scaled-up and replicated.
The Award is one of a number of initiatives from GSK and Save the Children’s five-year partnership, which combines the two organisations’ expertise and skills with the aim to help save one million children’s lives. Since 2013, more than a dozen inventive approaches – from a breast milk pasteurisation device to an affordable diarrhoea treatment kit – have been recognised through the Award. This year, as well as recognising approaches that have helped reduce child deaths, the Award will give special attention to innovations that focus on the hardest-to-reach children.
Mark Pfister, General Manager for GSK in Ghana, said: “When it comes to reaching the most vulnerable Ghanaian children with quality healthcare, no single organisation has all the answers. So we’re always searching for new and different ideas, wherever they might be. Our Award recognises that some of the best solutions to development challenges come from people living with them. Tough conditions can stimulate innovation, generating solutions that are relevant and adaptable. If these bright ideas can be shared across countries and continents, the impact could be profound.”
Outlining the focus of this year’s Award, Ali Forder, Director of Programme, Policy and Quality at Save the Children, added: “Extraordinary progress has been made in recent years to reduce the number of children dying before their fifth birthday. Despite this progress, more than five million children still die each year and millions of children are being left behind because of their gender, poverty, or ethnic identity; because they live in remote areas or urban slums; or because they are caught up in conflicts. We want to seek out and recognise ways in which these children can be reached.”
In 2013, a device that eases the breathing of babies in respiratory distress was awarded the highest share of the Healthcare Innovation Award prize fund. It was developed by the College of Medicine/Friends of Sick Children, Malawi and Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health Technologies. Commenting on the impact of the Award, Professor Elizabeth Molyneux, professor of pediatrics at the College of Medicine and Queen Elizabeth Central Teaching Hospital, Blantyre, Malawi, said: “It was exciting to win the Award, which has allowed us to provide technology and training in teaching hospitals in Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. Funding from GSK and others shows confidence in what we are offering and gives us a chance to share with people who will benefit from it.”
A judging panel, made up of experts from the fields of public health, science and academia, will award all or part of the funds to one or more of the best healthcare innovations. Further details on the judging process and criteria can be found online at www.healthcareinnovationaward.org
Entries close on 7 September 2016 at 11:59pm (GMT). Winners are expected to be announced in December.
About the Healthcare Innovation Award:
The Healthcare Innovation Award was announced following the launch of GSK and Save the Children’s innovative partnership in May 2013, which is tackling the ambitious goal of helping save the lives of one million children in some of the world’s most vulnerable communities. One of the unique aspects of this shared value partnership is the focus on working together to maximise innovations to tackle under-5 child mortality. For example, Save the Children has a seat on a paediatric R&D board, which includes representation from other independent experts as well as GSK. The board provides insight and research on child health that shapes GSK’s R&D efforts through the partnership.
While good progress has been made in recent years, in 2015, more than 5 million children died before their fifth birthday2. Often these children are in the most remote and marginalised 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.
Previous winners of the Healthcare Innovation Award have gone on to expand and replicate their approach. Some examples include:
- In 2013, a device that eases the breathing of babies in respiratory distress won the top award. It was developed by the College of Medicine/Friends of Sick Children, Malawi and Rice 360°: Institute for Global Health. They are rolling out the technology and providing training in teaching hospitals across Tanzania, Zambia and South Africa. Needs assessment, training and installation have been undertaken in all three countries; 14 hospitals have received units and continue to receive follow-up support from the project.
- The mobile health management system, ZiDiTM – operated by MicroClinic Technologies, Kenya – was recognised in 2013 for its ability to improve the quality of maternal and child care by providing access to real-time data on medicines and disease trends, to support health planning decisions. According to MicroClinic Technologies, support from the Award has helped more than 500,000 patients to experience improved care through the facilities that are on ZiDi.
- In 2014, Living Goods was recognised for their work in Uganda. The organisation trains and empowers skilled health micro-entrepreneurs who go door-to-door educating their community about ways to improve their health and distributing products such as fortified foods and solar lights. In 2015, Living Goods and its partner BRAC grew from 1,000 to 3,700 community health promoters in Uganda, more than tripling the number of families served.
1) Be from a country classified as ‘low’, ‘lower-middle’, or ‘upper-middle’ income by the World Bank (http://data.worldbank.org/country). Countries classified as ‘high income’ by the World Bank or that are in the European Union are not eligible (http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.htm).
2) Describe an innovative approach or process applied to under-5 child survival that can demonstrate impact within an eligible country.
GSK – one of the world’s leading research-based pharmaceutical and healthcare companies – is committed to improving the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. For further information please visit www.gsk.com.
About Save the Children – Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the UK and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. For further information please visit www.savethechildren.org.uk.