Prince of songkla Univeristy

A. Problem Analysis

 1. What was the problem before the implementation of the initiative?
Before this project was initiated, there were three problems in the southern part of Thailand in terms of health care, social, and economy. The first problem was the number of patients suffering from colon cancer has been increasing in this area as well (currently 2,000 patients). They needed to be operated for colostomy. A colostomy is a surgical procedure that brings one end of the large intestine out through the abdominal wall. This made them feel embarrassed when they walked in public. This is because they need to be attached with a colostomy device which is a bag collecting feces in front of their abdomen. Although clothing may help them conceal this device from the public’s eyes, the smell of the feces was still irritating the surrounding. Everyone around them always curious about where that smell came from. These made them feel embarrassed, depressed and confined themselves away from public. Of course, this can put quality human resources away from social. Second, the health care budget from the universal care system of Thai government is not enough to take care of this group of patients due to expensive imported collecting bags. This universal care system can provide them only 5 collecting bags per month which is much lower than what anyone needs. Imagine that we normally go to the bathroom at least 2 times a day. How can they go to the bathroom only five times per month? This makes them a lot suffer from colon cancer. They need to reuse this one bag for the whole week by rinsing and, of course, this will cause infection on their abdominal skin in next couple month. So, they have to come back to the hospital for chronic wound care treatment. Some of them may require for another colostomy operation in order to relocate their colon to another part of their abdominal skin. The third problem was the reduction of latex industry due to the global economy. This made 80% of the farmer, the major occupation of the people in this area, suffering from starvation and poor living quality. They cannot earn their living as they used to. This increased a lot of crimes and drug problems in this Southern area.

B. Strategic Approach

 2. What was the solution?
The solution was that we brought the cooporation and innovation together. This cooporation was initiated by the Prince of Songkla University, PTT Global Chemical company, and Plastic Institute to build a low-cost colostomy device in order to reduce the number of imported colostomy device and increase well-being of the patients. The University and the research team were gathered to redesign a prototype for a colostomy device that was produced from deproteinized rubber. This Innovation can significantly remove all proteins in latex to create a safe and allergy-free medical device. The second innovation was pressure sensitive property in rubber. This will help the patients feel relieved and pain-free experience when they attach the colostomy device onto their gentle colon and abdominal skin. The third innovation was that we can produce a soundproof and smellproof collecting bag. This will help the patients feel confident when they put on this bag in the public at very low cost. Therefore, the number of colostomy device that the patients can be received from the same tight budget of Thai universal care system will be increased and these innovations also increase the quality of life of these patients to normally live in the society.

 3. How did the initiative solve the problem and improve people’s lives?
The first approach that this group of patient tried to solve this suffering problem by themselves is to form a community or club for colostomy to ask the government for more health care budget or ask for more collecting bags. However, this is impossible because of the tight budget. The second approach is to buy more collecting bags outside Hospital from their own little money. This means that they have to pay more money by themselves to relieve their suffers. Then, when this initiative started, the University was able to provide better innovative solution from research and produce a better medical device for them at a very low cost. So, they can live better and have 10 or more collecting bags per month from the same budget of the government universal care system.

C. Execution and Implementation

 4. In which ways is the initiative creative and innovative?
Prince of Songkla university has many scientists and experts in both rubber and latex research. There has reported many innovative properties in the past 10 years. This university is also the best medical school in southern part of Thailand. Many skillful surgeons are here to treatment many complicated diseases. Therefore, Doctor Worrwit wanichsuwan (Surgeon) and Dr.Ekwipoo Kalkornsurapranee (Rubber scientist) formed a research team tried to solve this burden problem. However, they looked for supports from both Plastic Institute of Thailand (government sector) and PPT Global Chemical (private sector) in order to form a strong cooperative team for this project. Plastic Institute of Thailand was able to design and upscale the production line for this colostomy device. PPT Global Chemical was good at forming a new soundproof and smellproof property for colostomy bags.

 5. Who implemented the initiative and what is the size of the population affected by this initiative?
After the first set of prototype of this colostomy device was produced, 30 colostomy patients were introduced to this product. They were delighted that they can have 10 more collecting bags per month. This made them live much easier. Then, 100,000 set of this new colostomy device (funded by PTT Global chemical and Prince of Songkla University) were freely distributed through all major hospitals and colostomy community. This helped around 3,000 colostomy patients to live better for next 3 moths.
 6. How was the strategy implemented and what resources were mobilized?
According to previous free distribution of innovative colostomy devices (funded by PTT Global chemical and Prince of Songkla University), National health security office of Thailand (government agency) started to see the feasibility and potential of this good cooperative project. This initiative proved that a good and low-cost colostomy device can be produced in Thailand. Moreover, this device also increase the demand of rubber/latex industry which indirectly promote the income of farmers in the Southern part of Thailand. Then, National health security office of Thailand planed to order more products for all major hospitals because it can improve patients' lives at the same cost of budget.

 7. Who were the stakeholders involved in the design of the initiative and in its implementation?
There are 5 major participants in this initiative: 1)Prince of Songkla university provide researchers and innovative rubber property. 2)Plastic Institute of Thailand (government sector) offer consultation for large-scale production. 3)PPT Global Chemical (private sector) funded and provide a new soundproof and smellproof medical grade plastic. 4)National health security office of Thailand offer a hearing meeting between colostomy community, nurses, and researchers. 5)Colostomy community always provide more information about what they suffer and help to improve the prototype of the product to be suited for what they need.

 8. What were the most successful outputs and why was the initiative effective?
The most successful outputs were 1)3,000 and more colostomy patients are now not suffer from depression or confined environment when they live in public. 2)The government started to see integration between good cooperation and product innovation. 3)The initiative can introduce a new approach for rubber/latex industry and developers to produce more about other kinds of medical devices, which directly promote both industry and agriculture economy. The reasons that this initiative was so effective because 1) A perfect combination of the good cooperation of all sectors, and the strong commitment to help this patients. 2) A powerful private sector (PTT global chemical) came to help by funding and providing new innovative plastic material.

 9. What were the main obstacles encountered and how were they overcome?
The main obstacles encountered was the conflict of interest. Sometimes, someone may seriously look for the opportunity for marketing. However, due to the key feature of this medical device is belong to the research team from Prince of Songkla university, this allow the team to be a leader of this project and constantly talked to them to make sure that they are on the same track. This initiative is mainly for charity not for business purpose. Therefore, it was very hard to find the right partners to form our strong team at the first time.

D. Impact and Sustainability

 10. What were the key benefits resulting from this initiative?
1)This initiative helps the National health security office of Thailand (government agency) provide more health benefits for patients with the same amount of budget. 2)Colostomy patients can receive 12-17 collecting bags per month which is acceptable for patients and reduce the chances of colostomy infection.

 11. Did the initiative improve integrity and/or accountability in public service? (If applicable)
1)This initiative helps the National health security office of Thailand (government agency) provide more health benefits for patients with the same amount of budget. 2)Colostomy patients can receive 12-17 collecting bags per month which is acceptable for patients and reduce the chances of colostomy infection.

 12. Were special measures put in place to ensure that the initiative benefits women and girls and improves the situation of the poorest and most vulnerable? (If applicable)
This initiative specially measured the feedback and satisfaction from colostomy patients (the most vulnerable) by surveying with questionnaire and interviews. In this groups of patients, there are both men and women who significantly respond that this product help them have to better daily life because they can have more collecting bags. They are poor; so, they don't have enough money to buy extra collecting bags outside the hospitals. That's why they need more collecting bags from the government

Contact Information

Institution Name:   Prince of songkla Univeristy
Institution Type:   Academia  
Title:   Surgeon  
Telephone/ Fax:   0898706878
Institution's / Project's Website:  
Address:   15 kanjanavanich
Postal Code:   90110
City:   hatyai
State/Province:   songkhla

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