2017 Winning projects

“The winning projects’ inspired visions can now become a reality, delivering significant improvements to the lives of many people reached by their work.”

The winning projects

Following a shortlist selected by the SkinPact Awards 2017 Expert Dermatologist Panel, a substantial number of votes were cast by supporters in the dermatology field to determine a winning project in each category. In addition to the community winning projects, the Expert Panel agreed a further project from each category. Each of the following winning initiatives has been awarded to realise the project:

Community Leadership

Projects under this category should take a fresh and sustainable approach to improving the lives of patients with skin conditions

Community Vote:


Partners In Leprosy Action (PILA): a community skin health strategy as a combined approach to detecting skin-related neglected tropical diseases

Executive summary: 

The need: Among the 17 Neglected Tropical Diseases prioritized by the World Health Organization, there are 7 that have prominent skin manifestations, the Skin-related Neglected Tropical Diseases : leprosy, yaws, lymphatic filariasis, mycetoma, cutaneous leishmaniasis, , Buruli ulcer and onchocerciasis. The first five skin-related NTDs exist in the Philippines. In areas of armed conflict and geographically inaccessible communities, there are likely to be more cases of skin-related NTDs. Innovative and integrated approaches to NTD control and eradication are therefore needed.

The proposed intervention: Partners in Leprosy Action (PILA) is a strategy initiated by the Philippine Leprosy Mission in 2005 that brings together various stakeholders (Local government units, Department of Health, Department of Education, dermatologists, community members) to develop sustainable community skin health programs to enhance awareness, early detection, treatment, and prevention of leprosy and other prevalent skin diseases. In 2015, PILA was selected as one of the top 23 best practices by the Social Innovation in Health Initiative (SIHI) of the TDR-WHO, University of Oxford, and University of Cape Town.

The Goal: This project aims to determine the effectiveness, outcome, and impact of the Partners In Leprosy Action (PILA) strategy as a combined approach to skin–related NTDs in the province of Maguindanao, a Geographically Isolated and Disadvantaged Area (GIDA) of the Philippines where at least two of these NTDs have been reported as endemic (ex. leprosy and yaws). This study will explore the potential of such a combined approach to be scaled up to other parts of the country.

Dr. Belen Lardizabal Dofitas
Philippines Leprosy Mission, Inc., Philippines

Excellence in Education

Projects under this category should be aimed at educating healthcare and public communities about skin health issues in a sustainable manner

Community Vote:


SCHISTO DERE LAKSI: A community-wide education on the schistosomal rash for early detection in endemic Philippine province using film and comic book

Executive summary: 

Schistosomiasis control has been unsuccessful in Eastern Samar, Philippines where this neglected tropical disease continues to be endemic. Ongoing government programs are treatment-aimed, lacking towards prevention and total eradication.

This project will teach the whole community: healthcare professionals, teachers, parents, and school children of the early recognition of Schistosomiasis leading to early management. The aim of the project is avoidance of chronic morbidity and late-stage sequelae of Schistosomiasis prevalent in three rural towns of the province. A film and a comic book because of their mass appeal shall be used in workshops to educate the community.

Dr. Mirla Celina Taira
Philippine Leprosy Society, Philippine Dermatology Society, Philippines

Expert Panel Choice:


Innovation in undergraduate dermatology education using mobile technology

Executive summary: 

Dermatology is poorly taught to Australian undergraduate medical students despite the fact it represents 20% of presentations to GPs. Australian medical students receive an average of 3 lectures during their undergraduate course. This has meant that junior doctors approach skin conditions with a lack of confidence and familiarity, which in turn leads to delayed diagnosis, mismanagement and poor patient outcomes. The aim of the project is to utilise innovative technology to create a mobile application that facilitates dermatology education. The visual nature of dermatology coupled with the convenience of mobile learning will lead to increased understanding and improved patient management.

Dr. Gayle Fischer, Dr. Saxon D Smith & Dr. Philippa Dickinson 
Department of Dermatology, Royal North Shore Hospital, Australia

Expert Panel Choice:


Project proposal for water treatment to mitigate arsenic pollution in different arsenic affected villages of West Bengal

Executive summary: 

Goal: The precise goal of the project is the provision of Arsenic free ‘safe’ drinking water to the villagers and purposeful mitigation of Arsenicosis through community action and creating mass awareness.
Purpose: The major purpose of the project is to improve drinking water quality by motivating the rural community to prevent and reduce arsenic contamination in ground water as well as relief from skin disease to the affected victims.
Objectives: Establish community groups to take action on arsenicosis as a sustainable community institution, Improve drinking water quality in arsenic affected areas through ground and surface water treatment and rain water harvesting.Increase prevention of arsenicosis through improved community awareness, diagnosis and treatment.To carry out research & development with new technologies towards mitigation of Arsenic pollution and genetic study of the already affected arsenicosis patients to prevent / reduce further complcations of arsenicosis.

Project beneficiaries.Target groups here represent the population which is already or at risk of arsenic contamination. They are the people in arsenic affected villages under seven districts of Paschimbanga (North 24Prgs., South 24Prgs., Malda, Murshidabad, Nadia, Burdwan & Hooghly).
Summary of Activities / Brief implementation plan / Duration- Overall sustained environmental development and better quality of life assured in the arsenic affected areas by socio-economic upliftment of the people (savings from expenses on health diverted to productive activities).
How was the project recipients involved in the planning of the project?- Overall project strategy is community empowerment at the village level to solve the growing problem of arsenic contamination in West Bengal using low cost, low maintenance and sustainable solution.

Dr. Pradip Kumar Das & Dr. Suhas Bhattacharya
Swasthya Bhabna Welfare Organization, India