PAHO/WHO Recognizes Recipients of Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) Awards 

Dr Er­i­ca Wheel­er, PA­HO/WHO Trinidad and To­ba­go Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive gave recog­ni­tion to the ac­com­plish­ment of Trinidad and To­ba­go’s par­tic­i­pants in the So­cial In­no­va­tion in Health Ini­tia­tive (SI­HI) glob­al and re­gion­al com­pe­ti­tion, geared to­wards im­prov­ing ap­proach­es to health care for every­one.

De­tails fol­low in this press re­lease from PA­HO/WHO:

 

To mark the oc­ca­sion of World Health Day 2022, “Our Plan­et our Health”, PA­HO/WHO Trinidad and To­ba­go Coun­try Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Dr Er­i­ca Wheel­er took the op­por­tu­ni­ty to rec­og­nize the achieve­ment of Trinidad and To­ba­go’s en­trants in the So­cial In­no­va­tion in Health Ini­tia­tive (SI­HI) 2021 glob­al and re­gion­al com­pe­ti­tion. 

 

The con­cept of so­cial in­no­va­tion in health­care em­bod­ies PA­HO/WHO’s goal of Health for Every­one, Every­where. It is com­ple­men­tary to the in­sti­tu­tion­al ap­proach to im­prov­ing ac­cess and qual­i­ty of care to the most vul­ner­a­ble among us. As a com­mu­ni­ty-en­gaged process that val­ues the lo­cal con­text in de­vel­op­ing pro­grammes to re­spond to com­mu­ni­ty health­care chal­lenges, it de­liv­ers more ef­fec­tive and sus­tain­able re­sults.

 

Rec­og­niz­ing the val­ue of com­mu­ni­ty-di­rect­ed health­care in­no­va­tion, the SI­HI was launched in 2015 by UNICEF/UNDP/World Bank/WHO Spe­cial Pro­gramme for Re­search and Train­ing in Trop­i­cal Dis­eases (TDR) in col­lab­o­ra­tion with sev­er­al part­ners. The ob­jec­tive was to ad­vance re­search, ad­vo­ca­cy, and ca­pac­i­ty build­ing for so­cial in­no­va­tion in health, par­tic­u­lar­ly with­in vul­ner­a­ble pop­u­la­tions.  

 

In 2021 the TDR in­vit­ed sub­mis­sions from Latin Amer­i­ca and the Caribbean on the theme So­lu­tions for Pub­lic Health and Health Ser­vices in the Con­text of the COVID-19 pan­dem­ic. TDR re­ceived 106 el­i­gi­ble ap­pli­ca­tions from 17 coun­tries, four were se­lect­ed with ho­n­ourable men­tion, and four were win­ning ini­tia­tives. Se­lec­tion cri­te­ria were rel­e­vance, de­gree of in­no­va­tion, in­clu­sion, af­ford­abil­i­ty, ef­fec­tive­ness, scal­a­bil­i­ty, sus­tain­abil­i­ty, changes in the sys­tem, and in­ter-sec­toral col­lab­o­ra­tion. 

 

Af­ter an in­de­pen­dent pan­el of 16 high-pro­file in­ter­na­tion­al ex­perts re­viewed the ap­pli­ca­tions, Trinidad and To­ba­go na­tion­als were se­lect­ed in the win­ning ini­tia­tive and hon­orary men­tion cat­e­gories. Ki­ran Math­ur Mo­hammed and Ed­ward In­gle­field’s medl (Phar­ma­cy App) project was one of the four win­ning ini­tia­tives. Oba Gul­ston and Ricky Sker­ritt’s Re­gion­al Tourism and Health Pro­gram was award­ed hon­orary men­tion.

 

In ad­dress­ing the re­sponse to the chal­lenge of pre­ma­ture deaths due to non-com­pli­ance of med­ica­tions, Mr. Mo­hammed stat­ed that, “medl con­nects doc­tors, pa­tients, in­sur­ance com­pa­nies and phar­ma­cists, en­abling physi­cians to elec­tron­i­cal­ly pre­scribe med­ica­tions, pa­tients to in­stant­ly claim their in­sur­ance and al­so through our own in-house cen­tral­ized dis­pen­saries de­signed in or­der to dras­ti­cal­ly bring down cost.”

 

Speak­ing on what sparked their in­no­va­tion, Mr. Ed­ward In­gle­field stat­ed that he and his col­league both have grand­par­ents that have chron­ic con­di­tions and that they want­ed to make life eas­i­er not on­ly for their grand­par­ents but oth­er per­sons in such a po­si­tion.

 

Ac­knowl­edg­ing the im­pact of the ini­tia­tives sub­mit­ted to the SI­HI, Dr Wheel­er not­ed that “they have grown and reached more peo­ple, played an im­por­tant role in re­sponse to the pan­dem­ic, and are sus­tain­able. Some ex­pand­ed their cov­er­age from the lo­cal lev­el to the de­part­men­tal lev­el, and one of them is now a bi­na­tion­al pro­gram”

 

PA­HO/WHO looks for­ward to the con­tin­ued growth of the SI­HI and ground-break­ing in­no­va­tion for the im­prove­ment of health­care ser­vice de­liv­ery in Trinidad and To­ba­go to sup­port health sys­tems strength­en­ing for Uni­ver­sal Health.

 

 

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