Some of the biggest challenges in global health are convergence issues. They exist at the intersection of a number of different inter-related challenges. This is particularly true in the child welfare sector. It is difficult to fully determine the number of children living in institutional care settings around the world. By many estimates, the number of children living in orphanages, homes and care settings is in excess of 150 million. Whatever the number, children who find their way into homes like the Health Bridges Casa Girasoles, come from deep experiences of poverty and trauma.
With so many children living in such environments, you’d expect there to be a standardized method for tracking complex needs. There isn’t. This intersection of need is where we’ve used innovation to support better outcomes for vulnerable kids.
In 2015, HBI developed a prototype database. A web-application that tracks the complex needs of children living in institutional care settings. The system – we call it Girasoles Sanos – is designed to identify unique needs and support evidence-based interventions to help vulnerable children. The tool pulls together resources and helps to build a unique strategy for a vulnerable child. The tool helps to build a pathway to a future.
The Girasoles Sanos tool is very much in its pilot phase. We are working to take it to the next level. This is where innovation needs to meet finance. That’s not such an easy proposition.
Not to be deterred, we'll keep focusing on using innovative approaches to advance the care – and outcomes – for vulnerable children. Because we believe the biggest challenges in global health will not be solved with a single solution or idea. Complex challenges require innovative, holistic, collaborative approaches. This is the focus of Health Bridges; and, we are thankful to be working in such a unique way.
The HBI Blog is a rotating journal from our staff. Our Blog is a series of messages from the field, insights from our work, and lessons in service.