This year’s winner of the Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health (GCARSIH) is the Alay sa Ginhawa at Kalusugan, or ALAGA KA project.
GCARSIH is a national award co-developed by the Department of Science and Technology—Philippine Council for Health Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD), Department of Health (DOH), and Social Innovation in Health Initiative Philippines (SIHI Philippines) to recognize and support social innovations that address persistent and systemic health challenges in the Philippines.
It bears the name of the late National Scientist Dr. Gelia T. Castillo, who espoused the tenet that science should advance humankind. Current social health innovations created by Filipinos for Filipinos are eligible for this Award.
Health Futures Foundation, Inc. (HFI) launched ALAGA KA in 1998 with the intention to build fully functional, future-proof, and equipped barangay health stations, to bring healthcare services closer to vulnerable areas (BHS).
The project team plans and constructs the BHS infrastructure with assistance from the public and commercial sectors, and also develops community-based health and wellness initiatives.
A total of 23 barangay health stations in Batangas, Palawan, Samar, Northern Samar, and Eastern Samar have been successfully transferred by ALAGA KA to date.
The ALAGA KA project topped 81 other innovators that participated this year.
The GCARSIH recognizes outstanding social innovations that address long-standing societal and health-care system challenges. We can learn from the innovators’ experiences to better understand why and how social innovations have an impact, as well as the keys to scaling up or integrating these effective interventions into the larger health system.
Other winners of the GCARSIH are as follows:
2nd Place: Culion Health, for a network of outsourced TB clinics, by the Culion Foundation
3rd Place: UP Surgical Innovation and Biotechnology Laboratory (UP SIBOL) Program, for a collaborative work on manufacturing of intricate, precision medical equipment, by the UP SIBOL
Aside from the winners, the Award also recognized seven finalists:
- Address the Stress: Mental Health ‘Nudges’ for the Wellbeing of Healthcare Workers during the COVID-19 Pandemic by AHA! Behavioral Design;
- Battle in the Blood (BitB), the first HIV gaming app in the country, by the University of the Philippines Manila;
- CareGO EMR, a vaccination management app, by CP Health Innovations, Inc.;
- Community-Based Drug Rehabilitation Treatment Intervention by University Research Co., LLC;
- CRAMMS and MATA+ : COVID-19 Risk Assessment, Monitoring and Management Systems (CRAMMS) and Movement Activity Tracker Application (MATA+) by the Provincial Government of Tarlac;
- Patient Navigator Program of Pediatric Childhood Cancer: Guiding Patients through the Complex Cancer Care Continuum by the Philippine Cancer Society, Inc. in collaboration with the Philippine Society of Pediatric Oncology; and
- Ugnayang Nanay, for enabling environment for mothers, by Modern Nanays of Mindanao and ALIMA Mother Support Center.