Presentation of the German Global Health Award
On 17 May, the German Global Health Award was presented in Berlin as part of the event “Global Health – The International and German Agenda”. The award, which is co-organised by BIO Deutschland, honours exciting innovation and outstanding commitment in the field of German healthcare services abroad. BIO Deutschland’s Managing Director Viola Bronsema delivered the congratulatory speech to the winners before the awards were handed out by patron Brigitte Zypries, German Federal Minister for Economic Affairs and Energy.
The award for innovative products, services and partnerships developed by SMEs went to MACH4 Automatisierungstechnik GmbH for its project “Pharmacy of the Future”. The company has developed a new drug-dispensing system that offers an innovative solution to improve access to medication for chronically-ill patients in South Africa. South Africa has a very high rate of chronic illnesses, such as hypertension and HIV, yet a low ratio of pharmacists to patients. The idea behind MACH4’s system is to set up secure Pharmacy Dispensing Units (PDUs) in shopping centres and other public spaces, where patients can use a chip card to collect their medication.
The second category recognised innovative products, services and partnerships developed by larger companies, associations or individuals. This award went to the Gemeinschaft Sant'Egidio for its “DREAM Programme”. The Gemeinschaft Sant'Egidio, which is the German branch of the Community of Sant’Egidio, carries out work in ten countries of sub-Saharan Africa to strengthen their health systems and support capacity building in the area of HIV/AIDS treatment. The association works with local governments to provide more than 40 HIV/AIDS centres that offer treatment, support and training. The programme wants to start making use of more innovative technologies, such as telemedicine. As one of the goals of the programme is to improve access to HIV/AIDS treatment services, it will also create opportunities for German companies that offer diagnostics, medical infrastructure or medication to become active in these countries.