Dr Miguel Betancourt presented today at the World Vaccine Congress about social investment for the development of sustainable public health in Latin America.
The Carlos Slim Health Institute is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the health of the population in Latin America and elsewhere, by investing in sustainable public health solutions in maternal and child health, nutrition, and immunizations among other topics.
Next week is the 5th anniversary of the Carlos Slim Health Institute (CSHI), which is a non-profit created to tackle regional issues including neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), obesity, and chronic disease epidemics. There is a significant focus on new innovations. These can be technological, as well as process-oriented and managerial innovations. They focus on the point-of-care or first contact with the most deprived populations
Infant and child mortality is a problem in Mexico and throughout the region. There are also issues of chronic renal failure, and a need for organ transplantation support. CSHI develops models of care that fit appropriately the socioeconomic reality of the populations they serve, connecting with ministries of health at national and sub-national levels, and bolstering the existing health systems with resources and training. Dr. Betancourt-Cravioto described a number of innovative projects from the foundation:
â€¢ CASALUD – In this model, CSHI goes to a local dept. of health, enabling them with new tools, and helping them make better health decisions in areas such as health promotion, education, primary care, providing existing care guidelines, and developing them if they do not yet exist.
â€¢ For health education, they have set up a website: www.clikisalud.info
â€¢ They are distributing USB drives which include calculators for BMI, renal function measurements, cardiovascular risk, and are given to physicians and nurses, helping them make better healthcare decisions.
â€¢ ViveSanoNet uses mobile and web-based applications to assist with timely detection of chronic diseases and recommendations for healthier lifestyles. It has a tool to display the graphic of blood glucose levels, which when shown to the patient can help with medical compliance and improved health behaviours.
â€¢ Diabediario – is a diabetes diary used to track patient progress
â€¢ AMANECE is a tool used for maternal and child mortality. CSHI defines the networks of care, strengthens the networks, and includes virtual training for health personnel, using technology to improve care. AMANECE-NET is a community based pregnancy monitoring system.
â€¢ Kit Mi BebE is a long-distance monitoring system for high-risk pregnancies, created through a partnership with the West Wireless Health Institute. It utilizes a fetal monitor, glucometer, blood pressure meter, and urine strips which are used to communicate health information through a cell phone to a health monitoring system
â€¢ Salud Mesoamerica 2015 is a public-private partnership, between the Gates Foundation the government of Spain, the Interamerican Development Bank, and other Mesoamerican governments targeting the poorest 20% of the population in the region. This initiative focuses on methods with proven efficiency, attempting to have sustainable projects that last beyond the 2015 end date.
â€¢ Vaccines against Chagas disease and leishmaniasis are being developed in a collaboration between Baylor College of Medicine, Birmex, the Sabin Vaccine Institute, Cinvestav, and the University of Yucatan, Mexico. It includes components of research and technology transfer, attempting to make the discoveries a public good, made available to any public vaccine producer.
â€¢ The Commission for the Future of Vaccines in Latin America (COFVAL), sponsored in 2008 by CSHI, is working on seven solutions for seven challenges. It is a think-tank of regional experts on immunizations. The seven challenges are scarce statistics, growing disparities, human resources, lack of local vaccination bodies, lack of financial support in the region for new vaccines, excessive regulatory burdens and meager collaboration among producers. Solutions include virtual training in vaccinology for non-specialists, testing of a regional electronic vaccination card, projects to close vaccination coverage gaps and support for new national vaccination legislation in the region.
In all of its activities, CSHI attempts to transition from traditional philanthropy to a model of social development.
Check back here in a couple of days for the presentation.