WHA rewards remarkable people in different fields of public health
23 May 2008 l Geneva
Every year at the World Health Assembly, tribute is paid to individuals and institutions who have accomplished outstanding innovative work in health development. The awards this year were to:
The Sasakawa Health Prize, Japan of US$ 40 000 is awarded to the Movement for Reintegration of People Affected by Hansens disease (MORHAN), Brazil. The Movement works to fight against leprosy (Hansens disease), which still persists in Brazil. Morhan's goal is to educate the community and prevent discrimination. The movement develops and distributes educational materials, and organizes workshops to involve families and the public, using multimedia communication.
"When I was eight years old, I suffered from leprosy and forced into isolation. The elimination of Hansen's disease cannot be rooted in the death of the bacillus or the end of the disease. We need to do our best to ensure the well-being of people affected by this disease.." said Cristiano Torres, vice national coordinator of MORHAN. "In our 27 year history, it is the first time that we have been given such an important award." Mr Yohei Sasakawa
President of the Nippon Foundation
representing the Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation
Mr Yohei Sasakawa
The application for awards is open to all individuals or organizations active in the field of health. Proposals are made to the Director-General of WHO, who submits them to a selection panel. The panel meets then to decide on the recommendation to be made to the Executive Board, which designates the recipients of the prizes.