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GlaxoSmithKline Offers $1M Award for Healthcare Innovation

GSK and Save the Children have announced the second annual $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award.

GSK and Save the Children have announced the second annual $1 million Healthcare Innovation Award.  The award was established to identify and reward innovations in healthcare that have proven successful in reducing child deaths in developing countries.

Organizations from the developing world are encouraged to nominate examples of innovative healthcare approaches that they have discovered or implemented.  The criteria for the award states that these approaches must be sustainable, have resulted in tangible improvements to under-5 survival rates and have the potential to be scaled-up and replicated.  Work that aims to increase the quality of or access to healthcare for newborns will be given special consideration.

The 2013 Award was given to Friends of Sick Children, Malawi for their Continuous Positive Airway Pressure (CPAP) kit.  The life-saving kit is used to help babies in respiratory distress.  The device—a ‘bubble’ CPAP—uses air pressure to keep the patient’s airways open.  At the time of their debut, a similar version was already being used in developed countries where they cost upwards of $6000.  Friends of Sick Children’s device can be produced for approximately $400.

A judging panel co-chaired by Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK, and Justin Forsyth, CEO of Save the Children, and composed of experts in the fields of public health, science and academia will award a portion of the overall funds to the best healthcare innovation to support further progress.  The remaining funds will be available to runners up as directed by the panel.  Last year, Friends of Sick Children, Malawi was awarded $400,000.

In response to last year’s winners, Witty said, “These remarkable projects show that significant numbers of lives can be saved and improved through grass-roots innovation. We hope our awards will help ‘spread the word’ on many of these innovations and encourage others to use and learn from them.”

The award is intended to provide a platform for the winning organizations to share their innovations and provide information to those who are interested in improving healthcare for children in some of the world’s poorest areas.

In acknowledgement of the fact that innovation can take many shapes and forms, the criteria for the award are broad and can include approaches that focus on any aspect of healthcare in the realm of science, nutrition, research, education or partnership working.

GlaxoSmithKline was founded in 2000 and is the world's sixth-largest pharmaceutical company.  Save the Children is an international non-governmental organization invested in promoting children’s rights, providing relief and helping support children in developing countries.  The organization was founded in the United Kingdom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care and economic opportunities.  They also provide emergency aid in natural disasters, war and other conflicts.

Additional details on the criteria and judging process can be found at http://myg.sk/HeathcareInnovationAward.  Submissions must be received by 11:59 PM (23:59) GMT on August 25, 2014.  The winners will be publically announced and their innovations will be showcased in December.

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