The ReAct Strategic Policy Program is mentoring student champions through Innovate4Health. Innovate4Health is a global student design sprint running from October 2021 to January 2022. The design sprint is organized by ReAct (through its Strategic Policy Program), the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA) and the Innovation + Design Enabling Access (IDEA) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
To tackle antimicrobial resistance, there is a need not only for bottom-up innovation but also for creatives ideas to the social and medical challenges of antimicrobial resistance and other emerging infections. Innovate4Health endeavors to enable students to not only take up these issues, but also play an active role in tackling them. Now we can present this year's 15 teams and their projects.
Former students from the ReAct’s Strategic Policy Program’s previous social innovation education programs, Innovate4AMR and Innovate4Health 2020, have gone on to build apps to inform COVID-19 risks from routine tasks, received funding to implement their projects educating school-aged children in Uganda and also to implement rapid diagnostics for bacterial infections in rural Nepal.
15 teams: 50 students from 15 countries
After a competitive selection process that saw applications from more than 70 teams, ReAct’s Strategic Policy Program worked with International Federation of Medical Student Associations to winnow down to the top 15 top team—over 50 students from more than 15 countries. These teams are working on an astonishing spectrum of projects to address emerging infectious diseases in a range of settings, from migrant refugee camps in Europe to childhood immunization services disrupted by COVID-19 in Europe, from wet markets in Indonesia to wastewater treatment surveillance in Malaysia.
To help students recognize their potential as change agents, Innovate4Health participants will be trained through a special, non-credit course designed by the IDEA (Innovation+Design Enabling Access) Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Wherever their projects lead them, as they progress through the Ideation, Implementation and Advocacy stages of the design sprint, we hope the experience will help prepare them to become future champions for addressing AMR and emerging infectious diseases.
Through each stage, students will refine their projects through international collaboration with student teams and apply tools and frameworks to consider systematically how their intervention can address the greatest challenges of emerging infectious diseases. The teams are encouraged to consider alternatives to their original designs and to take advantage of the opportunities in the design sprint. Along the way, they will be provided coaching sessions, on-line modules, expert webinars, and most importantly, a community and cohort of students inspired to innovate for an equitable and healthier world.
We have also partnered again with the International Federation of Medical Student Associations, which with their colleagues in the World Health Student Alliance are organizing the Global AMR Youth Summit. Several Innovate4Health student teams had an opportunity to showcase their proposed work during World Antimicrobial Awareness Week 2021.
This year’s Innovate4Health teams
Team Members: Nneka Amakom (University of Ibadan, Nigeria); Muhammad Isa Jaafar (Federal University Dutse, Nigeria); Sadisu Maibushra (Bayero University Kano, Nigeria)[AS1]
AfriTeam intends to fight the spread of malaria, particularly near populations with limited access to quality healthcare and resources. Their approach is aligned with One Health looking for solutions that benefits not only communities but also the environment.
Team Members: Indra Caesar (Jember University, Indonesia); Hasna Fikriya (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Indonesia); Drian Danya Hardi (Universitas Padjajaran, Indonesia); Pinka Alia Rahmah (Universitas Padjajaran, Indonesia)
AKSATA is interested in making improving the health systems for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA) of Indonesia by making a mobile application integrated with primary healthcare center data. This approach will help to increase treatment adherence thus minimizing the number of patients that fail treatment, experience complications, and mortality.
Team Members: Gaik Syuen Lee (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Malaysia); Nadya Wacimin (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Malaysia); Ming Wei Yeap (Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia); Ming Xuan Yeap (University of Malaya, Malaysia); Xin Yan Yong (Universitas Gadjah Mada, Malaysia)
AquaTectors are interested in preventing antimicrobial spread amongst the human population through the animal-human-environment cycle. This team from Malaysia aims to detect antimicrobial resistance in wastewater as a surveillance measure of emerging infectious diseases, with the limited capability of the current wastewater management system.
Team Members: Kudakwashe Mundove (Nanjing Medical University, China); Fan Pinchao (Nanjing Medical University, China); and Yin Simeng (Nanjing Medical University, China)
FO Cadres seeks to tackle the challenges of zoonotic disease transmission from traditional food markets. Their approach involves working with Wet Market Administrators and Stall owners and consumers to improve sanitary conditions, prevent AMR and reduce transmission of fecal-oral diseases.
Team Members: Puan Aradhana (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia); Sandra Sukma Maharani (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia); and Nadya Wacimin (Gadjah Mada University, Indonesia)
Live and wet markets are a reality for Indonesians’ access to food. “FuMaki” for Future Maki (where Maki is market in Japanese and Korean) believes that by making live and wet markets more digitized through a mobile app, it will enable the raising of standards, and carry out monitoring to prevent zoonotic disease transmission.
Team Members: Zheng Hong Chua (Nanyang Technological University Singapore – Imperial College London, Singapore); Markus Lim Yong Sheng (National University of Singapore, Singapore); Shena Low Qian Yu (National University of Singapore, Singapore); and Wint Shwe Sin (Singapore Institute of Technology – Trinity College Dublin, Singapore)
POND’s vision is to develop and deliver an open-access, economically-viable, and biosecure model of farming that addresses the issue of novel zoonotic influenza strains with pandemic potential arising from integrated agriculture-aquaculture farming systems in low-resource settings.
Team Members: Sinchul Jwa (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States), Keunhee Kim (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States), Arisa Kiyomoto (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States); Sanaya Shenoy (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States); and Prabhjeet Singh (Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, United States)
Project NEEV’s focal problem is tackling routine immunization disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic in rural India. The student group based out of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health hopes to do so by targeting increased community engagement, task-shifting, training programs, and employment for the local stakeholders.
Team Members: Larissa Ciarlini (Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Brazil); Emanuel Victor Da Silva Lima (Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Brazil); Pedro Mendes (Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Brazil); and Humberto Moreira (Universidade Estadual do Ceará, Brazil)
To tackle resistance and inappropriate treatment, quickteSTing intends to make available an affordable and efficient quick test for several sexually transmitted infections: HIV, syphilis and gonorrhea. Their project intends to encompass the entire sexually active population, with a special focus on men who have sex with men, women at childbearing age and sex workers.
Rash ID PH
Team Members: Kariza Pamela Abu (University of the Philippines – Manila, Philippines); Joseph Rem Dela Cruz (University of the Philippines – Manila, Philippines); Leonard Thomas Lim (University of the Philippines – Manila, Philippines); and Keane Angelo Sales Diaz (University of the Philippines – Manila, Philippines)
To prevent AMR and improve appropriate treatment, RASH ID PH proposes a tech-based solution that provides a point-of-care diagnosis of skin rashes.
Team Members: Emma Boxley (University of Southampton, UK); Laura Jung (Leibzig University, Germany); Sebastian Schoenherr (Edinburgh University, Scotland); and Flora Noelle Wiegand (Karolinska Institutet, Sweden)
Screen4AMR is an international European team that aims to tackle high levels of AMR amongst refugee populations. Their approach is to develop a small-scale local system of surveillance and an app to monitor current resistance levels and issue up to date treatment recommendations for the most common infections.
Team Members: Anurag Goyal (Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi, India); Vivek Singh (Delhi Technological University, India); and Jay Verma (Maulana Azad Medical College, University of Delhi, India)
SuperBugs are interested in developing a drug manufacturing and sale system combined with IT-based methods to improve patient compliance and accomplish behavioral changes that tackles the drivers of AMR.
Team Members: Patricia Kankundiye (Makerere University, Uganda); Daniel Obote (Makerere University, Uganda); Hellen Rosette Oundo (Makerere University, Uganda); Diana Sitenda (Makerere University, Uganda)
To tackle the water-based drivers of emerging infections, Team OFI want to make clean drinking water more accessible. Their team is interested in evaluating whether a solution derived from the prickly pear (Opuntia ficus indica) plant species can help purify drinking water.
Team Members: Steven Akabwayi (Mbarara University of Science And Technology, Uganda); Bernard Raymond Kihumuro (Mbarara University of Science And Technology, Uganda); Solomon Peter Kisiriko (Mbarara University of Science And Technology, Uganda); Namutebi Maria Hellen (Mbarara University of Science and Technology, Uganda)
Technocrats are a team of students from the Mbarara University of Science And Technology, Uganda that are interested in reducing the risk of death from childhood vaccine preventable diseases as well as mitigate AMR. Their approach is to ensure that children under 5 are fully vaccinated against several vaccine-preventable diseases in a timely manner given that most efforts aimed at achieving this were broken down by the pandemic.
The Northern Resistance
Team Members: Stephanny Lisbeth Castillo Quispe (Universidad Nacional Mayor de San Marcos, Peru); Darwin Anthony Leon Figueroa (Universidad San Martín de Porres, Peru); Diana Noelia Morocho Alburqueque (Universidad Nacional de Piura, Peru); and Christopher Guissepe Vadiviezo Morales (Universidad Nacional de Piura, Peru)
The Northern Resistance aims to tackle the lack of knowledge on AMR, a key driver of inappropriate antibiotic use in Peru. Their intervention would be multi-modal, working to engage primary care physicians, parents and children.
Team Members: Taranjot Kaur (Himachal Pradesh University, India) and Alia Naaz (Himachal Pradesh University, India)
YSPIANs recognize that AMR in India is becoming an increasing challenge. For this reason, they want to catalyze the necessary behavior change to tackle the drivers of unnecessary antibiotic use. They propose to pilot a “Buddy Officer” approach at their university, Himachal Pradesh University, where the buddy officers would engage various healthcare workers.
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