2016 Finalists

DermaLearning: Education for everyone

Research has shown that most of those who apply to a dermatology program in Mexico are not prepared academically to start their training.  A report by Universidad Autónoma de Guadalajara, revealed that in the 28th medical residency national exam, applicants earned only an average test score of 32.7% in dermatology. The idea is to use technology to solve this problem. The DermaLearning project aims to create a reliable source of information that can be reached by any medical student, anywhere, anytime and free of charge. The team has begun to develop an online platform that was shown to be more effective than classroom instruction.

An insect stung me, what should I do? An application for initial management of contacts or arthropod bites in Latin America

Driven by both lack of information and specialized medical training in tropical diseases, the team has developed a mobile application that provides users (both doctors and the general public) fast, accurate and reliable information on arthropod bites and appropriate first aid. The tool, downloadable on computers or mobile devices, helps to immediately identify the arthropod involved, the type of acute skin lesion (within the first 24 hours) and guide the patient to a primary care provider, as well as advise of the need to go to a closer rescue center.

The Butterfly Children from Mexico

In Mexico, the disease epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is unknown to some physicians and the patients have to deal with one of the worst health systems in the world. Most of the patients do not have health insurance to cover the cost of the treatment and they are often too poor to pay for all the supplies from their own resources or income. DEBRA provides knowledge on prevention, genetic counselling and education to EB patients and their families. The organization also give lectures, conferences at schools and educate/provide information on radio, TV and social media.

Distance learning and high quality content in dermatology using the “Piel Latinoamericana” platform

This project seeks to develop an educational program aimed at two aspects of dermatology using the “Piel Latinoamericana” platform: (1) Continuing education for dermatologists with an emphasis on tropical dermatology and selected diseases of universal importance, and (2) Development of a site with high quality content aimed at the community, involving the participation of dermatologists, scientists, journalists, social media experts, and the pharmaceutical industry, in order to improve the Spanish information reaching the user and seek consensus on dermatology public health issues.

Endemic Pemphigus Foliaceous: integration of traditional indigenous medicine and dermatology as a health care model

Endemic Pemphigus Foliaceous (EPF) affects young, genetically predisposed patients and often occurs in family clusters and specific geographical areas. As a result, indigenous populations have been shown to be highly vulnerable, as described amongst Tirana and Xavante ethnicities. The literature reports three cases amongst indigenous people in the Amazon in the last ten years. However, over 30 cases have been treated at the Tropical Medicine Foundation Dr Heitor Vieira Dourado, and almost 40% were from the Yanomami people. The current situation demands multidisciplinary integration between medicine, anthropology and indigenous representatives in order to synchronize the illness concept, as well as improve chronic disease treatment adherence, utilizing EPF as model.

Early Diagnosis, Preventing Physical Disability and Combating Prejudice in Leprosy

Training of Basic Health Unit professionals to perform early diagnosis, prevent disability and disseminate information about Hansen’s disease to the population of the Northwest Campinas District, aiming deliver care in a humane way and tackle the myths and prejudice that still haunt the carriers of disease.  This is a strategic approach aimed at greater dissemination of information to health professionals, by first sharing the project objectives with qualified professionals and then extending the training to the entire target population.

Educating patients and their environment to improve the awareness and treatment of Epidermolysis Bullosa

Although considered the most painful disease in children, epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is mostly unknown to the public and even healthcare professionals. The DEBRA Chile Foundation, in its constant eagerness to improve EB patient care, has decided to create supporting educational material for patients (and their schools), caregivers, and healthcare providers. In particular, it will produce a patient notebook and a self-explanatory video in order to improve medical treatment and awareness and reduce stigma associated with this awful skin disease.

Teledermatology, new pathways in community dermatology in Mexico

For more than 25 years, multidisciplinary groups of Health Care Professionals (HCP), led by Dr. Roberto Estrada, have carried out dermatological community medical training and consultation in different cities of Guerrero state’s mountains in the south of Mexico. Today, personnel safety conditions in Mexico, especially in the State of Guerrero, are precarious and prevent continuation of the work schedule, not to mention potential personal risk for all participants. The intention of this program is to continue educating HCPs in dermatology while providing and serving remote communities with dermatological services and treatment of complex cases through teledermatology. 

Fotoeducational Workshops for Patagonian Mapuche Communities

The prevalence of sun-related skin diseases (actinic prurigo, polymorphous solar erythema, rosacea and actinic cheilitis) is high among Mapuche communities living in the Cordillera de los Andes due to genetic factors and high ultraviolet (UV) exposure. The main objective of our project is to train voluntary medical students to carry out educational workshops at rural schools of Patagonian Andes. This innovative approach will benefit both medical students and rural communities: medical students will receive more information about UV radiation, skin cancer and sun protection than they usually receive in regular university dermatology curricula; while acquiring innovative skills in developing educational primary care strategies. Mapuche communities will receive medical information that may improve their quality of life. The interaction with medical students may also stimulate young people from those communities to continue their education in the future.

Araras project

Xeroderma pigmentosum (XP), is a rare genetic disease with the potential to generate malignant skin cancers at a much greater rate (thousand-fold) than in the normal population. A large number of people with this disease exist in Araras village. They live without access to diagnosis, treatment and preventive measures. They only had access to tumor excision therapies. Thus, the medical, scientific and social responsibility to diagnose the occurrence of this rare condition is critical. This project attempts to describe and explain the disease to patients and look farther behind their suffering and search for the necessary genetic identification in order to promote genetic counseling and warn them of the problems when carriers marry. Another aim is to identify novel manifestations of XP, in accordance with genetic studies.The Araras project is a social, medical and scientific project. The main objective is the provision of physical and mental health assistance to patients with XP and to evaluate the genetic extent of this disease in the Araras community, in Goiás, Brazil.