BREAKTHROUGHS BLOG

May 07, 2019

Gamifying global health innovation

Marissa Chmiola
Communications Officer
GHTC

GHTC held a Game changers in global health game night on Capitol Hill to educate Congressional staffers about the impact of US leadership in global health research and development (R&D). Our guests ate, drank, played games, and learned how US investments in global health R&D not only saves lives around the world, but also generates benefits here at home in the United States.

Here are some of our favorite photos from the night:

Playing "ROI: Return on Innovation" claw game to see the impressive return generated by US investments in global health R&D. These investments save lives around the world, spur US economic growth, generate cost savings, and protect Americans from disease threats. 

Pulling a block from the "Agency Jenga" game to learn a fun fact about the important and unique contributions made by each US government agency involved in global health R&D.

Playing "Heads Up: Puzzling Pathogens" to test whether their neglected disease knowledge is heads above the rest. In the battle to outsmart infectious diseases, pathogens may puzzle us, but R&D is the best resource we have to knock out dangerous diseases.

Testing her global health research knowledge to determine whether an innovation described is a "Trick or Treatment?" We still don't have the tools needed to combat many global health challenges, but every day brings new, exciting breakthoughs. Some seem simple but others seem like science fiction. Players try to determine whether tools described are on the market or make believe.

A guest spins the "Wheel of Progress" to receive a trivia question about a US agency involved in global health R&D.

GHTC Director Jamie Bay Nishi talks about GHTC's mission and the critical role of global health R&D in addressing the world's most pressing health challenges.

Playing "Striking out Disease" bowling to experience how changing funding levels for global health R&D impacts our ability to strike out the world's deadliest diseases. This player experienced a funding increase and was able to bowl with our jumbo ball.

Playing "Race for a Cure" to learn about the global health R&D process. It takes an average of 12-15 years to develop a vaccine. This player is racing to see if she can get her vaccine through all the stages of the product development process before the clock runs out. Developing treatments, cures, and vaccines for the world’s most devastating diseases is not easy. Many challenges arise along the path from scientific discovery to lifesaving technology.

A staffer from USAID shows off the agency's improved Ebola personal protective suit designed as part of the agency's Ebola Grand Challenge.

Attendees visit the "Gallery of Game Changers" booth to see, touch, and taste how American investment is generating game-changing global health technologies.

Guests chat with Dr. Marston, Prinicpal Deputy Director for CDC Center for Global Health's Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria to learn about the agency's work in global health research.

A staffer talks with a scientist from the Naval Medical Research Center to learn how bateriophages could one day be used to heal wounds on the battlefield and in low-resource communities around the world.

USAID staff show off innovations from the agency's grand challenges programs including the Odon device for obstructed birth, mosquito-repellent sandals to prevent Zika and other threats, and an improved Ebola personal protective suit.

Staffers check out cookies made with naturally biofortified Vitamin A corn developed by GHTC member HarvestPlus as a sustainable way to combat Vitamin A deficiency worldwide. 

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