GSK and Save the Children launch $1 million award to discover new healthcare innovations reducing child deaths

The award is looking for projects that:

  • can demonstrate results in improving under-5 child survival rates over the last two years
  • are designed to be sustainable over the long-term
  • have the potential to be scaled up and/or replicated

$250,000 will be awarded to the best healthcare innovation and an additional $750,000 will be available for runners-up awards.

From the 27 June – 26 August, organizations from across the developing world can nominate examples of innovative healthcare approaches they have discovered or implemented.

The award will also provide a platform for winning organizations to showcase their innovations and share information to enable others with an interest in improving healthcare to adapt and replicate successful interventions and create more positive change for children in their own country and beyond.

While good progress has been made in recent years, worldwide 6.9 million children every year still die before their fifth birthday. Often these children are in the most remote and marginalized communities and in order to bring life-saving healthcare to these hardest to reach children, ambitious new ideas and approaches are needed. 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.

"Often the best solutions to a particular challenge come from those living and working closest to it. We recognize this and we are committed to supporting those working in the world’s poorest countries to improve health outcomes. This award will identify the most effective ideas being put into practice in developing countries and, by providing much needed funding, will enable these innovations to be scaled-up to reduce childhood deaths and will inspire others in the process." - Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK

The impact of simple, low-cost innovations can be illustrated through the example of Kangaroo Mother Care which has been shown to reduce the number of babies dying in developing countries. Originally developed by Colombian pediatrician Edgar Rey, Kangaroo Mother Care is a simple technique which promotes early skin-to-skin contact between mothers and their premature and new-born babies. Mothers act as human incubators, keeping their babies warm and regulating their heartbeats. It is now used widely by Save the Children and many other organisations around the world.

The Healthcare Innovation Award is the first joint initiative to be announced following the launch of GSK and Save the Children’s ambitious new partnership in May this year, aiming to save the lives of 1 million children over the next five years. One of the most unique aspects of the partnership is the focus on working together to maximize innovations to tackle under-5 child mortality. For example, Save the Children will be involved in helping GSK to research and develop child-friendly medicines, with a seat on a new pediatric R&D board to accelerate progress on innovative life-saving interventions for under-fives, and to identify ways to ensure the widest possible access in the developing world.

“We believe that we can be the generation to stop children dying from preventable causes - but this can only happen by working in partnership and finding new, innovative ways to get to the hardest to reach children. Through the GSK and Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award, we can identify and support new and exciting examples of innovation from emerging and developing countries, in order to save more children’s lives.” - Justin Forsyth, Chief Executive, Save the Children UK

Recognizing that innovation can take many shapes and forms, the criteria for entry are broad and can include approaches that focus on any aspect of healthcare, including science, nutrition, research, education or partnership working.

Further details on the judging process and criteria can be found online here.

Entries close on August 26th at 11:59pm (GMT). Winners will be announced in November 2013.