Press Release | 30 April 2022

The Department of Health’s (DOH) Health Promotions Bureau (HPB) and its partners AHA! Behavioral Design, a product development software company, and AI4GOV, an artificial intelligence (AI) technology service provider, bags awards at the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Innovation Challenge: Innovation for the Future of Public Health as inaugural winners for their civic and government technology solutions works “Mission Wellness” and “KIRA Chatbot” respectively.

As part of the 29 winning innovations from 400 submissions among member-states, the DOH, with its partners, developed ‘Mission Wellness,’ a behavioral program, which seeks to help improve and promote mental health and emotional well being for public healthcare workers through minimally intrusive health nudges and KIRA or ‘Katuwang na Impormasyon para sa Responsableng Aksyon’ Chatbot, an AI-powered chatbot, which responds to COVID-19 related inquiries from users.

To date, over 1500 healthcare workers in 23 health facilities nationwide have used Mission Wellness. On the other hand, KIRA chatbot has enhanced the speed of processing countless inquiries with over
33.5 million interactions and 1.2 million people who have used the service.

“When the pandemic entered the country two years ago, a significant strain was put on the people, attributed to the fear of our kababayans in contracting the virus. With the implementation of initiatives such as “Mission Wellness” and the “KIRA Chatbot”, we are able to heed the call for behavioral and mental wellness, especially for our healthcare workers,” said Undersecretary of Health Maria Rosario Singh-Vergeire.

The WHO, through the Western Pacific Innovation Challenge, aims to improve overall health of people across the region by embedding innovation and organizational structure as well as to empower sustainable paths in achieving better health. Winners of the challenge shall virtually share and present their innovations and solutions to health challenges during the 2022 Western Pacific Innovation Forum on April 28-29, which allows Member States to institutionalize wide-reaching benefits to public health through recognized solutions and templates.

“This recognition further proves that gradual transition and implementation of an all-out healthcare works for the country. Through the implementation of Universal Health Care (UHC), we will be able to reach the entirety of the Philippines and its people, staying true to achieving the national health agenda for the benefit of every Juan and Juana,” said Secretary of Health Francisco T. Duque III.

More information regarding ‘Mission Wellness’ may be accessed from , while you can experience interacting with the KIRA chatbot directly through DOH’s official Facebook page, Viber group, and through the KontraCOVID PH Webapp.