SIHI-Philippines: Winners of 2017 Social Innovations in Health Care (Updated)


On 10 October 2017, the Social Innovation in Health Initiative-Philippines (SIHI-Ph) revealed the five winners of its Search  for PHL Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) Solutions.

The five are: “Inter-island Health Referral System--Strengthening through 1 facility, one health service boat” Project;  “Seal of Good Health Governance”;  “National Telehealth System”;  “6.60 Kada Araw na Hulog Para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya”; and, “Kalingang Bata: Adolescent HIV Nursing for Community-Based Treatment, Care and Support.”

The winners were selected by a distinguished independent panel of 10 experts out of bested 20 outstanding entries received nationwide. This panel is composed of academicians, representatives from the Department of Health and World Health Organization as well as clinicians and practitioners. 

As stated on the Philippine website of SIHI, the winners will "benefit in several ways: Be recognised by national and global health policy makers; Have a case study published on your solution; Be featured in a WHO/TDR film on social innovation in Philippines; and, Meet other social innovators in the Philippines and become part of the UP Manila -Social Innovation in Health Hub."


Here are brief descriptions of the five projects:

Inter-island Health Referral System--Strengthening through 1 facility, one health service boat” Project – Submitted by Dr. Katerina Abiertas, Former Municipal Health Officer, Municipality of Zumarraga, Samar.  The project aims to address access barriers to women in need of facility-based deliveries. The solution is a sea ambulance or a boat referral system that connects remote communities to maternity units. The innovation is in the financial model supporting the project which included upgrading the maternity health facility to become accredited by PhilHealth. This enabled the facility to receive reimbursements to fund the operations and maintenance of the boats. The project increased the facility-based deliveries from 20% to 90%, created employment for men as boat operators, and enhanced the health workers’ motivation.  

Watch the video:


Seal Of Health Governance”— Submitted by Hon. Alfredo Coro, Mayor, Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte. The Seal of Health Governance (SOHG) is a local governance framework adopted by a local government unit to empower key stakeholders and embrace health as an important public service initiative to ensure growth and progress. The SOHG follows the World Health Organization’s six building blocks for health system strengthening and is aimed at ensuring sustainability of health programs at the barangay and purok level. As a monitoring framework, it provides an enabling environment to incentivize barangay and purok-led innovations in health care and other sustainable investments.

“National Telehealth System (NTS)”—Submitted by Dr. Raymond Francis Sarmiento, Director, National Telehealth Center. This is a project aimed at supporting rural health workers’ access to specialist care. The RHWs get to refer clinical cases and clinical dilemmas to clinical subspecialists through short messaging services (SMS) or emails. The current protocol only allows for non-urgent, non-emergent cases to be referred or consulted for, so the turnaround time for responding to the referrals or consultations is 48 hours. Since 2004, NTS addressed over 2,000 teleconsultations and telereferrals coming from health care facilities in geographically isolated and disadvantaged areas.

6.60 Kada Araw na Hulog Para sa Kalusugan ng Pamilya”— Submitted by Mr. Wilfred Hernandez, Chief Local Health Insurance Officer, PhilHealth, Puerto Princesa, Palawan.  This project’s target is to  increase the universal health coverage of self-employed tricycle drivers. To overcome the barriers experienced by drivers of making bigger quarterly contributions to PhilHealth, a project was started by the local PhilHealth Office to increase insurance collections. This is done by partnering with the local tricycle associations to help establish a daily payment collection system. With this system, the drivers’ payments are updated, assuring health coverage for them and their families.

Watch the video:


“Kalingang Bata: Adolescent HIV Nursing for Community-Based Treatment, Care and Support” – Submitted by Mr. Jonathan Monis, Secretary-General, Alliance of Young Nurse Leaders and Advocates. The project strengthens nurses’ role in community-based adolescent HIV treatment, care, and support. This is done by training and deploying Nursing Care Managers (NCM) in the community to liaise between the patient and the HIV treatment and support systems available for the patient. NCMs are working closely with the treatment hubs, social hygiene clinics, social workers, and other NGOs. The project is currently being pilot-tested in Iloilo City and Zamboanga City. Each is led by a Project Steering Committee composed of City Health Officials, representatives from DOH Disease Prevention and Control Bureau, and the Council for the Welfare of Children (an NGO).


According to the SIHI-Philippines team, they will soon start to document the lessons and impact of these innovations. Case studies will be shared online so that everyone may learn and use the lessons to continuously improve health care for the communities.

The 2017 Social Innovations in Health Care project is a partnership among the Department of Clinical Epidemiology (College of Medicine, UP Manila), Department of Health, Philippine Council for Health Research & Development of the Dept. of Science & Technology (PCHRD-DOST), World Health Organization, Special Programme on Research and Training in Tropical Diseases or TDR (UNICEF, UNDP, World Bank, WHO), Social Innovation in Health Initiative (  


Text: FMJemena & SIHI-Philippines



--Authoring History--
1st Update: 2017-12-05 18:14:42 +0800