The 7th APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022 recently concluded, giving a total of 48 teams across 22 universities in 12 economies a platform to present solutions for the challenges the health system of Fiji has been facing.
The competing teams had up to 10 weeks to prepare a 10-minute video in English to address a complex hypothetical scenario, for which there is no single “right” plan.
Fiji has had 64,221 cases and 834 deaths due to COVID as of March 21, 2022. Despite a relatively successful response to COVID-19, the financial cost to Fiji’s economy has been devastating. In 2019, Fiji’s tourism brought in US$1.3 billion, but passenger arrivals plummeted by 84% in 2020, causing tourism to generate only US$236 million. This dramatic drop illustrates that extended quarantine and lockdown measures are not feasible for highly tourism-dependent countries.
The APRU Global Health Virtual Case Competition 2022’s winning team was Fiji Apple from National University of Singapore. The decision, which came along with a prize of US$1,000, was made by an international panel of 16 judges, experts and participants of the Sustainable Cities and Landscape Conference 2022.
Fiji Apple’s three-pronged solution consists of FijiReadi!, which strives to improve Fiji’s future pandemic preparedness and response via the use of a bottom-up approach; FijiUniti!, which improves communication between villages and higher administrative units; and FijiXchange!, which is a material goods exchange system to secure essential supplies.
“It important for us to consider Fiji’s culture and practices in suggesting solutions that favor local level governance rather than national level ones,” Fiji Apple says in its winning video.
“We thus identified the need to promote a bottom-up approach to pandemic detection and response that empowers people living in both urban and rural areas,” they add.
Although this challenge was hypothetical, many economies around the world are currently considering how to address identical issues.
For more information about the case competition 2022, visit here.