GCARSIH recognizes best social innovations in health for 2020

The Gelia Castillo Award for Research on Social Innovations in Health (GCARSIH) announced the most outstanding social innovations in health in 2020 during the 39th DOST-PCHRD Anniversary last 17 March 2021. Aiming to celebrate and raise awareness on the impact of social innovations in addressing health-related gaps in the country, GCARSIH awards eligibility for a research and development grant, a training package, and cash prize to its winners.

This year, the Holistic Water Systems for Pumping Water Uphill by the Alternative Indigenous Development Foundation (AIDFI) won first place for improving the quality of life in far-flung, mountainous areas across the country with better access to clean and safe water. The innovation is an environment-friendly hydraulic water ram that pumps water uphill in an increased volume 24/7 without fuel or electricity, improving health and sanitation in communities with limited access to water. Abundant water supply also allowed livelihoods to thrive by increasing productivity among residents who used to fetch water from nearby rivers multiple times a day.

In second place, the University of the Philippines Diliman Psychosocial Services was recognized for being instrumental in addressing the mental healthcare needs of the UP Diliman community. With its positive impact since the project’s inception in 2018, the University is currently gearing to establish the UPD PsycServ as a regular office to further the holistic mental health support it has provided to students, faculty, and staff alike.

In third place was the Kalinga Health: A Hub-and-Spoke Social Enterprise Model in Engaging the Private Sector for Improved Tuberculosis Care initiated by Innovations for Community Health in partnership with ACCESS Health International. The project aims to address major gaps in tuberculosis care such as case detection, reporting, and access to affordable, quality care. Through private and public collaboration, the Kalinga Health establishes one-stop treatment and diagnostic hubs to improve tuberculosis care among the private sector, where inadequately treated tuberculosis cases are common.

Other notable innovations among the 67 entries this year are the: Baby Bonding Philippines, BHW Academy, falls PACT, the Zuellig Family Foundation- Health Change Model, PPE Needs Dashboard App, Telepsychiatry, and the Young House Heroes Initiative.

The GCARSIH was borne through a partnership between the Department of Science and Technology- Philippine Council for Health Research and Development, the Department of Health, and the Social Innovation in Health Initiative Philippines.