18 May 2000
ASSEMBLY AWARDS HONOUR CONTRIBUTION TO PUBLIC HEALTH
Outstanding individuals and institutions were recognized for their contributions in the field of health and development at the Fifty-third session of the World Health Assembly. The following awards were presented at a special ceremony on 18 May:
The Sasakawa Health Prize awarded for exceptional achievements went to Dr Yoav Horn of Israel, Dr Oviemo Otu Ovadje of Nigeria and the Family Planning Association (PLAFAM) of Venezuela.
Dr Yoav Horn was awarded the prize for his work over 30 years in the field of cancer research and treatment and care of cancer patients in Israel and in the West Bank. He set up an oncology programme which has enabled cancer patients to receive the necessary medical care in the West Bank. The prize money of $30,000 would be used to create a West Bank Cancer Association which will focus on education, cancer prevention, early detection, training for doctors and nurses and for treatment and support of cancer patients.
Dr Oviemo Otu Ovadje received the award for his invention of an Emergency Auto-Transfusion set, which is a very simple blood-saving device, which efficiently replaces the gauze filtration technique used in developing countries. The device is an excellent example of appropriate technology relevant to the needs of developing countries. Successful clinical trials in 1999 have confirmed its efficacy for patients with ruptured ectopic pregnancies and life-threatening intraperitoneal bleeding. Dr Ovadje will use the prize money of $30,000 to increase the scope of current clinical trials and to conduct parallel studies in hospitals in India, South Africa and Zimbabwe.
The Family Planning Association (PLAFAM) has been working for over a hundred years to promote family planning and to improve sexual and reproductive health particularly among the poor in Venezuela. The Association received the award for its ground-breaking programme dealing with gender-based violence. It has successfully tackled this major problem by simultaneously focussing on the medical, psychological, social and legal aspects. The prize money of $40 000 would be used to incorporate a legal aid service for victims of gender-based violence, and research, which would be used as a basis for a wide range of actions.
The United Arab Emirates Health Foundation Prize was awarded jointly to Dr Roemwerdiniadi Soedoko of Indonesia and the Institute of Nursing in Myanmar.
Dr Soedoko received the award for her work for over 30 years in cancer research and community education. Based on her belief that cancer can be caused and influenced by human behaviour, her work focussed particularly on women's education as an essential element in combating cancer. An important part of her work is the development of the Sidoarjo Model, a community-based, integrated cancer-control model which is now being applied nationally in Indonesia.
The Institute of Nursing, Myanmar received the award for its work in building up the competence and skills for safe and high-quality nursing care in preventive, curative and rehabilitative health services. The Institute's self care programme designed to enhance community participation in health activities and to encourage people to take responsibility for their own well-being is of special note. In 1994 the Institute received the WHO "Tobacco or health" medal for its community-oriented curriculum.
The Dr. A.T. Shousha Foundation Prize was awarded to Dr Seyed Alireza Marandi from the Islamic Republic of Iran.
Dr Marandi was honoured for his excellent and outstanding work in the development and follow-up of basic and continued strategies and objectives for primary health care. As Minister of Health and Medical Education, he introduced social and community medicine departments in all universities and included family planning as part of government policy. In 1999, Dr Marandi was awarded the United Nations Population award.
The Jacques Parisot Foundation Fellowship was awarded to Dr Laura Papantoniou from Cyprus.
Dr Papantoniou is a member of the public health team of the Department of Medical and Public Health Services. Her research project "Study of the knowledge, attitudes and behaviour in relation to AIDS, sex and sexually transmitted diseases among the adult population of the town of Limassol and rural areas of Cyprus", aims to obtain quantifiable data on the profile of individuals who engage in risky behaviours in relation to HIV, sex and sexually transmitted infections. It seeks to identify risk factors in relation to sexual transmission of HIV and sexually transmitted infections and to evaluate prevention indicators of the national AIDS programme.
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