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Innovations in Global Healthcare: Aurum's Contributions at the GCAM 2023

Innovations in Global Healthcare: Aurum's Contributions at the GCAM 2023

The 2023 Grand Challenges Annual Meeting (GCAM), with its central theme of "Science Saves Lives," took place in Dakar, Senegal from October 8 to 11, 2023. This event marked the 20th anniversary of GCAM and attracted a gathering of more than 1,400 scientists, policymakers, donors, and research collaborators. Its primary focus was to investigate how advancements in science and innovation could bring about transformative improvements in healthcare on a global scale. GCAM's extensive programme included a deep dive into scientific tracks, plenary sessions, roundtables, and site meetings, allowing for in-depth discussions on critical topics, including pandemic readiness and achieving equitable global health.

The Aurum Institute played an active role in GCAM 2023, significantly contributing two poster presentations. One of these presentations, titled "Translation of Two-Way Texting VMMC Evidence into Policy and Practice in South Africa," was authored by Geoffrey Setswe, Jacqueline Pienaar, Felex Ndebele, Rachel Mukora, Calsile Khumalo, along with collaborators from the University of Washington and the International Training and Education Center for Health. The study introduced an innovative strategy for enhancing Voluntary Medical Male Circumcision (VMMC) in sub-Saharan Africa through a 2-week text (2wT) follow-up system.

This research underscores the critical role of mobile technology in healthcare, especially in regions where VMMC uptake remains both crucial and challenging. By harnessing the simplicity of SMS, the team has created a lifeline between patients and healthcare providers, ensuring swift and effective post-operative communication. This approach has not only proven essential for immediate triage, patient education, and referrals for adverse events but also stands out as a cost-effective method, reducing the financial burden typically associated with post-operative care.

The second poster, titled "Operationalizing an Ethical Framework for AI-Supported Antibiotic Prescribing" and authored by Nana Kofi Quakyi, Nana Eghele Adade, Rirhandzu Makamu, George Amoo Adjei, Ezequiel Ossemane, Sue le Roux, Jeff Weiser, and Dave Clark, delves into a pioneering approach aimed at addressing the global health crisis brought about by antimicrobial resistance (AMR), especially in African nations like Ghana. This crisis is further exacerbated by inappropriate antibiotic prescribing practices. Their project introduces an AI-supported tool designed to assist clinicians by providing context-aware antibiotic prescribing recommendations.

This project was also one of eight projects featured during the AI Grantee Showcase held on October 8, 2023, prior to the official opening. The showcase attracted an audience of policymakers, researchers, AI solution developers, grantees, and journalists from around the world.

Co-hosted by the Global Grand Challenges network of partners and generously sponsored by Grand Challenges Canada, the United States Agency for International Development, Wellcome, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, this event focused on crowdsourcing solutions for grant proposals in fields like global health science and innovation.

Notably, this was the inaugural occasion when the annual meeting took place in West Africa. For The Aurum Institute, an African Health Impact Organisation advancing health science and innovation, participation in this event was particularly exciting.

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