PATH Vietnam wins share of global US$1 million Healthcare Innovation Award

08 March 2016
PATH Vietnam wins share of global US$1 million Healthcare Innovation Award
- Immreg is a digital immunization registry system in Ben Tre province
- The innovation is saving health workers’ valuable time and improving access to life-saving vaccines

Hanoi, Vietnam: PATH Vietnam has been awarded $400,000 for Immreg, a system which brings immunization records into the digital age in Vietnam. Rather than handwriting records, which can be time-consuming and prone to error, health workers in Ben Tre province now use a computer or smart phone to monitor vaccine stocks; register pregnant women and newborns; and track what vaccines they have received. They can also remind pregnant women and mothers via text message to get vaccinations for them and their child.

Immreg is one of four initiatives to have won a share of the third annual GSK and Save the Children Healthcare Innovation Award (HIA). Today, on International Women’s Day, the initiative was highlighted during a roundtable discussion with stakeholders and policy makers convened by GSK and Save the Children, to discuss the impact of the award on health innovation trends in Vietnam.

Nguyen Tuyet Nga, PATH, Vietnam Program Team Leader said “Immreg has cut the time it takes to generate monthly lists of children due for vaccination from one to two days to just 5-30 minutes. We are very pleased that, rates of full immunization in the first year of life increased from 74.3 to 77.8% during our one-year pilot and the on-time vaccination rate improved  between 10 to 14%. We look forward to expanding use of Immreg as a result of the Award, making an even greater impact for Vietnamese mothers and children.”

As well as recognising innovations that help reduce child deaths, this year’s award adopted a special focus on strengthening health systems and recognised innovations that have been proven to help increase access to public healthcare for pregnant women, mothers and children under five.

James Strenner, General Manager, GSK Vietnam stated “To bring life-saving healthcare to the most vulnerable in our communities, there is a clear need for innovative partnership and breakthrough ideas, and more importantly the sustainability and expansion capability of these innovations. As a global healthcare company, GlaxoSmithKline is delighted that this award to PATH, the largest share of the third HIA, demonstrates that Vietnam is a hub for innovation and highlights the vital work being done to help save children’s lives.”

Gunnar Andersen, Country Director, Save the Children Vietnam “Immreg is an innovative intervention that has the potential to save the lives of many children and babies and is a great example of a sustainable program that addresses critical health issues. We are very pleased that through the recognition and funding from the Healthcare Innovation Award, Immreg can be expanded and replicated to protect even more vulnerable children.”

Sir Michael Rawlins, Chairman of the UK Medicines & Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency and a member of the judging panel, said: “I was hugely impressed by the quality, creativity and diversity of the innovations we considered. Faced with a healthcare challenge, the winners have drawn on their ingenuity to develop a response that is relevant, effective and efficient. Irrespective of where we are in the world, there is much we can learn from these approaches”.

The Healthcare Innovation Award is a great example of how innovation is a crucial part of the GSK and Save the Children partnership, through which the two organisations are combining their resources, voice and expertise to help save one million children’s lives. The partnership has sought to identify innovations that are making a tangible difference to children’s health, and enable them to share and replicate their approach, through the award.


For more information and interviews, please contact:

Doan Thi Minh Duyen

VietGate Communications


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Notes to editors

About the Healthcare Innovation Award

In 2013, GSK and Save the Children launched the first US$1 million Healthcare Innovation Award to identify and reward innovations that have proven successful in reducing child deaths in developing countries. As the best solutions to a particular challenge often come from those living and working closest to it, organisations from across the developing world were invited to nominate examples of innovative healthcare approaches they have discovered or implemented. Entrants to the Award had to ensure their approaches had resulted in tangible improvements to under-five child survival rates, were sustainable and have the potential to be replicated. The Award will continue annually until at least 2017.

About the GSK and Save the Children partnership:

In May 2013, GSK and Save the Children formed a ground-breaking partnership to help save the lives of one million children. Since then, we have been working together closely on initiatives including developing child-friendly medicines, increasing access to medicines and vaccines, and training health workers.

 Some key milestones include:

  • Submitting a regulatory application for an antiseptic gel for preventing umbilical cord infection in newborns with the European Medicines Agency. The antiseptic gel is intended exclusively for use in developing countries and, if approved for use, GSK will offer it at a not-for-profit price and will share its manufacturing knowledge with others to enable it to be made locally.
  • As well as supporting Save the Children’s response to humanitarian emergencies, including the Nepal earthquake and the current refugee crisis, GSK has supported Save the Children’s innovative Emergency Health Unit – a team of healthcare experts who can be deployed to an emergency to give healthcare to children on the ground within 72 hours.
  • Two flagship programmes to help improve access to maternal and child healthcare have been established in Kenya and the DRC. These include training health workers; community education; and strengthening referral systems.