BMJ Global Health Grant: Winners

Meet 2020’s winner

Jason V. Alacapa, MD, MBA, MPH(Econ), MHM

Chief Executive Officer, Innovations for Community Health, Inc.
Chief Executive Officer, metaHealth Insights and Innovations, Inc.

BMJ Global Health grant 2020 winner Dr Alacapa

Dr Alacapa is a medical and public health professional with business, health management, and health economic evaluation qualifications. He has more than seven years of progressive work experience in health systems strengthening, health economics and financing, and health management, both in the Philippines and abroad. 

Furthermore, Dr Alacapa is the Chief Executive Officer and Founder of the Innovations for Community Health, an NGO implementing sustainable and scalable market and private-sector oriented health system innovations in tuberculosis care; and of metaHealth, the first health technology assessment-focused firm in the country. On the side, he is also doing consultancies with local and international agencies. Currently, he is also taking a DrPH in Implementation Science, a predominantly part-time and distance professional doctorate, at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Could you tell us something about yourself and your research?

My recent work in public health practice and research focuses on driving private-sector engagement with health technology assessment (HTA) and tuberculosis (TB). Through my work in the NGO Innovations for Community Health, we deploy social enterprise one-stop DOTS facilities to find the “missing cases” of tuberculosis seen by private physicians. These cases are “missing” because they are not registered in the National TB Program (NTP), and their outcomes are not tracked. Often, these patients don’t receive quality care, and they don’t complete the six months of treatment. Thus, fueling the country’s intractable epidemic.

In this context, my implementation research utilized an interrupted time series analysis to provide effective evidence for an innovative model of healthcare delivery that connects a network of private providers (the “spokes”) to the NTP resources through an intermediary one-stop DOTS (the “hub”). This hub-and-spoke model has sustainability at its core by maximizing national healthcare insurance reimbursements.

Why did you undertake this research?

Newer models of care are needed to solve the Philippine’s TB problem, which is one of the top ten high burden countries globally. To date, an effective private sector intervention to find the “missing cases” is yet to be scaled-up in the Philippines. This research provides evidence to support the scale-up of a promising solution.

What do you think will be the main benefits of winning the grant?

Innovations are often met with strong resistance. Attending an international conference would allow us to gain a broader audience for the work that we do, which could potentially increase our credibility and legitimacy. We also plan to publish our findings in a highly-respected peer-reviewed journal. These two factors could help us increase buy-in from our local stakeholders for adoption and broader implementation. After all, good evidence should be front and centre in policy and decision-making.

How do you think this opportunity will contribute to your research?

As an individual professional, this grant provides me with a platform to showcase the work that I have done. Furthermore, as a young researcher from a developing country, this boosts my confidence and inspires me to do more. I am looking forward to the networks and connections that could be established when I attend the conference. These scholars and researchers could spur collaboration that could build on our current work.

Read about past winners

Dickson Lwetoijera, MSc, PhD

EHES and Training Departments, Chief Research Scientist, Ifakara Health Institute (Tanzania)

BMJ Global Health grant 2019 winner Dr Lwetoijera

Dickson Wilson Lwetoijera is Chief Research Scientist at Ifakara Health Institute (IHI), an Adjust Professor at Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology (NM-AIST), and a Wellcome Trust International Intermediate Fellow (2020-2024). He graduated with a PhD in Medical Entomology from Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in 2016.

With 12 years of experience in malaria vectors control research, he has made notable contributions to the field, some of which include, 30 peer-reviewed publications, participated in the fundraising of 4.9 million USD; and reviewed over 31 research manuscripts submitted for publication on international peer-reviewed journals.  Dr Lwetoijera is also an Editorial Board Member of the journal Frontiers in Sustainable Cities and the Deputy Head of the Training and Capacity Building department at IHI.  His research interest focuses on alternative vector control tools with the potential to target mosquitoes outdoors. Specifically, he focuses on auto dissemination, mosquito-assisted larviciding and genetic-based technologies for mosquito control.

Find out more about Dr Lwetoijera’s research.