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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 33  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 35-36

Best of projects that work

Director, Projects That Work, The Network: Towards Unity for Health

Date of Submission03-Nov-2020
Date of Acceptance04-Nov-2020
Date of Web Publication08-Dec-2020

Correspondence Address:
Ralf Rundgren Graves
Director, Projects That Work, The Network: Towards Unity for Health

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/1357-6283.302492

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How to cite this article:
Graves RR. Best of projects that work. Educ Health 2020;33:35-6

How to cite this URL:
Graves RR. Best of projects that work. Educ Health [serial online] 2020 [cited 2023 Jan 28];33:35-6. Available from:

The Projects That Work (PTW) annual global competition was introduced in 2013 by the Foundation for Advancement of International Medical Education and Research (FAIMER) to recognize, reward, and provide opportunities to disseminate outstanding projects in health professions education and community health that have succeeded beyond initial implementation and have had a significant impact on health, the community, or health professions education for 3 or more years. Each winner has been invited to present his/her project at a conference of The Network: Towards Unity for Health. The first group of five winning projects was presented in 2013 in Ayutthaya, Thailand. Approximately five projects were selected as winners in every year since then by an international group of reviewers using various criteria such as sustainability, innovation, and impact.

This is the second issue of Education for Health in which leading contributors to some of the winning projects from around the world have been invited to publish their work in the Practical Advice format as part of a new journal feature called Best of Projects That Work. This initiative is intended to further the goal of disseminating information about these projects to a broader audience in order to encourage imitation, replication, and/or collaboration. Indeed, among the many PTW winners are examples of those that have been inspired by, built, or borrowed from previous winners. In this issue, four excellent winning projects are described.

Student Development Strategy for Primary Health Care of Family and Community, by Marco Sosa of Columbia, was one of the first projects selected as a winner of the PTW competition in 2013. The project was designed to upgrade the learning methods used by the Fundación Universitaria San Martín School of Medicine by integrating knowledge about family and community needs that specifically pertained to residents of the Sabaneta and Envigado municipalities. The school has implemented an integrated and eco-systemic student development strategy that includes activities inside community and family health care, incorporating the principles of problem-based learning and community-oriented medical education as pedagogical strategies. The project is acquiring academic, social, and institutional recognition, and is considered a model for replication in other communities in Colombia and other parts of Latin America.

Improving Health of Women in Garment Industries through Interdisciplinary Experiential Learning Opportunities in Public Health Professions Education presented, by Suvetha Kannappan of India, was a 2015 winner. Since 2012, this project has been addressing the basic health issues of garment factory workers in India who are predominantly young females between the ages of 21 and 25. Most are semi-skilled migrant workers and the sole earning members of their families. Academic, industry, and funding partners have worked together to create and coordinate a successful occupational health education model based on the careful assessment of local, contextual needs and priorities and a delivery system based on identifying and developing effective peer educators. By 2015 when it was selected, the project had been completed in two garment factories and a spinning mill, and was ongoing in four factories and seven spinning mills, with many more factories interested in taking it up in future.

Service Learning to Develop Students’ Social Responsibility and Improve Women’s Health, by Rukhsana Ayub Aslam of Pakistan, was also a winner in 2015. From 2010 to 2015, over 100 high school students and medical students from 15 different institutions supplemented the care provided by public health workers in four service-learning projects in four different communities of Pakistan. The initial projects were supported by local nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and institutions and concentrated mainly on increasing awareness about the causes, effects, and prevention strategies of iron deficiency anemia (a common condition among women of reproductive age in Pakistan). By 2014, the project had attracted international partners, Flinders University (Australia), and Global Health through Education, Training and Service (GHETS) (a USA-based NGO), which enabled it to add point-of-care testing and treatment components that had already yielded measurable positive health outcomes when the project was selected as a winner. The partnership with Flinders University is an example of a project being directly inspired by and borrowing technology from a previous PTW winner. Point-of-Care Testing Program for Diabetes Management was a 2013 winning project from Australia.

Posta Las Lilas: A Model of Integral Commitment to the Community, a 2018 PTW winner, is a project of Austral University in Argentina presented by María de la Paz Grebe. It was initiated in 2007 with a goal of improving the health of the underprivileged communities of Las Lilas and Monterrey. An interdisciplinary health-care team undertook a long-term holistic strategy centered on education and health. Undergraduate and postgraduate students, residents, faculty members, nurses, physicians, and community members learn and work together. While the Faculty of Biomedical Sciences is responsible for the management and functioning of the Posta, many other organizations and university departments have also contributed materials and volunteers. The health-care program includes internal medicine, gynecology and obstetrics, pediatrics, nursing, dermatology, child and adult ophthalmology, child dental care, psychology, social work, general surgery, cardiology, imaging diagnosis, and a pharmacy providing free medications. By 2018, more than 1500 families had received over 32,000 health-care consultations over the course of the project.

In this issue of Education for Health, readers will learn more about each of these projects and the additional progress and developments they have made since their initial selection as winners of the PTW competition. To learn more about PTW and see summaries of all the winning projects since 2013, go to


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