Malaria Awards 2007 Announced by Malaria Foundation International (MFI)

12 Sep 2007
Malaria Foundation International
The Malaria Awards 2007 recognizes Dr. Dora Akunyili, Professor Lawrence Bannister, Ray Chambers, Dr. Don Roberts, Ms. Camille Henderson-Adams, Kalyani-India, Dunk Malaria, Sports Illustrated, Laura Bush, Angelina Jolie, Lexi Hunter, Dr. Jeffrey Sachs, Dr. Robert Menard, Coach Kuda and Mtandao Afrika and many other leaders and unsung heroes in the fight against malaria.

Atlanta, GA, September 12, 2007 -- The Malaria Foundation International (MFI) is proud to announce the recipients of its Malaria Awards 2007 (see below, and for hyperlinks to each of the winners and further information), recognizing accomplishments from 2006. The foundation's inaugural "Malaria Awards Ceremony" was established in 2006 to honor the many extraordinary individuals and organizations that have made and continue to make important contributions in the fight against malaria. Its emphasis is on recognizing known leaders and also finding the world's unsung heroes, to celebrate the willingness, dedication and accomplishments of people reaching beyond the call of duty worldwide to help prevent and treat this disease. The awards program also serves to engage new leaders, including teachers, students, scientists, journalists, business leaders, celebrities and politicians.

Malaria kills at least 3,000 people each day, mostly children. People everywhere and from many backgrounds and professions are starting to become aware and take a stand against this ongoing tragedy.

"The world is starting to address the immediate and long term solutions, hand in hand, in a rigorous way. There are immediate solutions that include indoor residual spraying of insecticides, eliminating mosquito breeding sites, use of long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets, and the proper diagnosis and treatment of the disease using effective malaria drugs such as artemisinin combination therapy (ACT)", stressed Dr. Wilbur Milhous, the MFI's International Board Chairman, and Professor of Public Health at the University of South Florida. "We also must promote the critical importance of research and development so that new drugs can be developed and malaria vaccines can be a reality in the future".

"The daily loss of our children, one child dying every 30 seconds, will no longer be ignored," said Dr. Esmeralda Meyer, MFI's Outreach Director. "Pregnant women living in malarious regions of the world are also particularly vulnerable, with deleterious outcomes including severe anemia, low birth weight babies, stillbirths, or maternal death."

Each year, at least 500 million people become clinically sick from malaria, with death being a possible outcome, despite the fact that malaria is a preventable and treatable disease. Almost half of humanity lives at risk of succumbing to malaria, caused by the bite of an infected Anopheline mosquito.

The Malaria Awards Ceremony is helping to bring to light the many ways people can help and, in essence, demonstrating how people from all walks of life can play important complementary roles in a historical global team effort. The list of awards also serves as an annual record and provides and archive of special accomplishments.

"The world is showing its force like never before against this disease," said Dr. Mary Galinski, Founder and President of the MFI and a Professor at Emory University's School of Medicine in Atlanta GA. "However, we have a long way to go, and we need to continue to engage and increasing number of dedicated individuals for the long haul".

"The Malaria Awards Ceremony is our way to identify and thank the many extraordinary individuals and organizations who continue to make significant contributions in the fight against malaria and inspire others," said Dr. Kathryn Nason-Burchenal, Vice President of the Malaria Foundation International. "This can take many forms, from spearheading a major research project or bednet distribution or insecticide spraying campaigns, to publishing a news article about the disease and gaining increased awareness and support as a result."

Malaria is a complex and widespread disease, persistent in about 100 countries. It can be brought under control through the use of available preventative and treatment measures. Education is also of prime importance. In many areas of the world, people live at risk of getting malaria from the bite of infected mosquitoes, but they have little understanding about this disease and how to prevent or treat it.

"Malaria fighters deserve recognition comparable to that which graces outstanding sports figures and entertainers," says Dr. Galinski. "As today's global fight progresses, we hope many of our youngest heroes are empowered and gain increasing support within their communities and achieve even greater success".

Malaria Awards 2007
(see for hyperlinks to each of the winners and further information)

Lifetime Achievement Award: Lawrence H. Bannister, PhD , for his 40 year commitment to scientific research and teaching as an electron microscopist, who has made a major impact working to reveal and document in exquisite illustrations the ultrastructure of the malaria parasite as it invades cells and undergoes developmental changes. Professor Bannister's scientific and artistic talents, along with his love of teaching have brought him many friends and fans throughout his lifetime journey. His research has been instrumental in the malaria field's discovery of the biology of the malaria parasite and the identification of new molecular targets for both vaccine development and drug intervention. Prior to his long dedicated career to malaria research, Professor Bannister studied other protozoans, olfactory mechanisms, and the cochlea. He was also an editor of the prestigious Gray's Anatomy textbook for the 37th (1985) and the 38th (1995) editions and by all accounts was a favorite teacher with anatomy students.

Person of the Year: Dr. Dora Nkem Akunyili, Director General of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NADDAC) in Nigeria, is a pharmacist, professor and governmental administrator, who has become recognized for taking a strong outspoken stand against the burgeoning counterfeit drug trade including for malaria medications. Her stand has raised the profile of this deadly menacing problem and the needless malaria deaths that result when fake medications are consumed.

Philanthropist of the Year: Ray Chambers, founding co-chairman of Malaria No More, for jump-starting and launching this new organization in December 2006 to help raise the profile of malaria, support the goals of the President's Malaria Initiative, and raise $10 donations from the public for the purchase and effective distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets.

Scientist of the Year: Don Roberts, PhD, Emeritus Professor from the Uniformed Service University, Bethesda, Maryland, USA, for his persistent role to save DDT for malaria control. From 1999-2001, Dr. Roberts helped lead the Malaria Foundation's "Save DDT Campaign" and promote its Open Letter, which obtained over 400 signatures from prominent scientists, physicians and public health specialist. Today, while he has formally retired, he continues to educate people on the effectiveness, safety and effectiveness of this insecticide.

New Malaria Advocate of the Year: The New York City based Global Business Coalition, for officially expanding its mandate in December 2006 to include malaria, along with HIV/AIDS and TB.

Advocate of the Year: Henrietta Agboola, CEO of House of Henri Fashions, Lagos, Nigeria, for her dedication and commitment to drawing attention on malaria, the vast needs of the people suffering from this disease, and the importance of working together to raise the standard of living of people living in the poorest malaria inflicted regions of the world. See Emory in the World Article for a fashion photo and for Paltalk Malaria Business Leadership Conference 2006 "House of Henri Fashion Show" and speech given by Mrs. Agboola.

Movie Actors of the Year: Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt, who started their own charitable organization in 2006 to aid humanitarian cause and address global health problems around the world, including malaria.

Singer of the Year: Yvonne Chaka Chaka - MFI's malaria award winner for a second year. In 2006, South Africa's Yvonne Chaka Chaka launched the "Princess of Africa Foundation" to "demand greater transparency and accountability so that the resources coming in to Africa to fight this silent killer we know as Malaria, will be used as intended".

Celebrity of the Year: Bono, for raising the profile of malaria during his six country tour of Africa in May 2006 and inspiring people to learn about the disease, Africa, the children, the poverty, limited education opportunities and what they can do to help.

Malaria, Oh No! Award - "Superstars who had malaria in 2006"

*Jason Lewis, contracts malaria for the second time in his "Expedition 360" journey to circumnavigate the globe using only human power, educate kids, develop cultural understanding, and more. Here he blogs about his experiences having malaria, educating his audience about the disease first hand.

*Mercedes Moncana Rodriguez, the talented Spanish director and member of One World's Grand Jury became ill with malaria while shooting a film in Nicaragua.

First Lady Malaria Advocate of the Year: Laura Bush, for her persistent and increasing dedication to the fight against malaria, bringing her celebrity attention and high regard for the thousands of people coming on board to help.

Economist Advocate of the Year: Jeffrey D. Sachs, PhD, Director of the Earth Institute of Columbia University, NY, for his continued focused efforts raising the profile and action-oriented attention on Global Health issues including malaria.

Conference of the Year: Paltalk Malaria Business Leadership Conference (MBLC 2006), the second annual MBLC event sponsored by the MFI and hosted by Emory University, was nominated for its role in helping to raise unprecedented awareness on malaria and engaging teachers, students, community and business leaders from many professions in the fight against this disease.

Special Event of the Year: White House Summit on Malaria, called "Challenge of Malaria in Africa", brought together international experts, non-governmental organizations, corporations and several African organizations to raise awareness and discuss measures for controlling the disease; National Geographic Society, Washington DC, December 14, 2006.

Sporting Event of the Year: Dunk Malaria - Knicks vs Hawks Basketball game at Madison Square Garden, NY, March 15, 2006, represents the first high profile engagement of the NBA in the fight against malaria. This event was organized by Hedge Funds vs. Malaria & the United Nations Office of Sport for Peace and Development, supported by Malaria Foundation and other advocates.

Short Film Maker of the Year: Robert MĂ©nard, PhD, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) international research scholar, and his postdoctoral fellow, Rogerio Amino, at the Institut Pasteur in Paris, filmed the malaria parasite as it transitioned from infecting liver cells to infecting red blood cells.

Athlete of the Year: Kelsey Johnson, a finalist for ECAC Women's Hockey Student-Athlete of the Year Award, and senior economics major focused on eradicating malaria.

Adventurers of the Year: Gordon Brown and Ryan Ross traveled in China, Kenya, Zambia, and South Africa chronicling the current bout with malaria that many Africans are fighting and recording the immense toll taken by the disease and the importance of Artemisinin Combination Therapies (ACTs) in a documentary called "Fighting Malaria".

Teacher of the Year: Lexi Hunter, for leading the way with the development of a global "Student Leaders Against Malaria" (SLAM) network, by bringing malaria education to high school students and younger students in the United States. In 2005, Lexi Hunter developed an elective Malaria Course for students at Galloway School in Atlanta, Georgia, which is now in its third year. In 2006, Lexi Hunter spoke about the experiences of her students and their first malaria fundraiser called "Change the World".

University Student of the Year: John Erickson, Case Western University, Cleveland, Ohio, USA. This malaria researcher and advocate combines his strong academic drive and passion for studying malaria with his leadership skills as an athlete swimmer, to both research malaria and raise funds to support the control of the disease.

Graduate Students of the Year: Debra Prosnitz and Colleen McClean, Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA. These malaria researchers and advocates designed the inaugural End Malaria - Blue Ribbon advocacy pin and led the launch of the End Malaria - Blue Ribbon Campaign in November 2006.

Health Minister of the Year: Dr. Richard Kamwi, Namibia, for his special efforts to stress the importance of DDT in the control of malaria in Namibia.

Politician of the Year: Dr. Tom Colburn, Oklahoma, USA, for his role as an activist to help ensure the use of DDT in countries that choose to use this insecticide for their indoor residual spraying programs for malaria prevention.

Educational Game of the Year: Malaria Chase - an Educational Electronic Board Game presented on line by Malaria Impact; Sanofi Aventis.

Educational Document of the Year - for young children: "Nets are Nice", book developed by Scholastic for distribution to young children in the United States with a Forward by Mrs. Laura Bush.

Youngster of the Year: Camille Henderson-Adams (11yrs), for her enthusiasm, commitment and charm as MFI's youngest dedicated volunteer, working to package thousands of "End Malaria - Blue Ribbons" for the November 2006 launch of this campaign and then distributing the ribbons to leading scientists and public health officials from around the world at the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene annual meeting held at the Marriott Hotel in Atlanta, GA, USA.

Educational Document of the Year - for middle and high school students: The Malaria Project Manual, produced by Josh Gottlieb in 2005, and utilized as a fundamental tool and inspiration for the development of the "Student Leaders Against Malaria" (SLAM) network.

Educational Document of the Year - for university and graduate level students: Malaria Course, launched in 2006 with OpenCourseWare On-line Lectures, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

Volunteer of the Year: Adedayo Thomas, volunteered to establish a Malaria Free Zone in Itu-Agon, Lagos, Nigeria in 2006 in partnership with the Free Africa Foundation. His dedication and effectiveness as a leader was recognized by officials from the Roll Back Malaria programme working within the Ministry of Health.

NGO Leader of the Year: JHPIEGO, and affiliate of Johns Hopkins University, with the leadership of CEO Dr. Leslie Mancuso, continues to make major strides in many countries thoughout Africa in advocacy, education, and training with a special emphasis towards preventing and treating malaria in pregnant women.

Global Media Reporter of the Year: CNN, for reporting "My Daughter Died for Nothing"; December 14, 2006.

Television News Personality/Reporter of the Year: Rick Mercer (comedian) and Belinda Stronach (Member of Parliament for Aurora-Newmarket) for establishing and promoting the "Spread the Net" campaign from their home base in Canada. Special recognition was also nominated for Canadian Member of Parliament, Glen Pearson, an Ambassador for their program and co-founder of Canadian Aid for Southern Sudan (CASS).

Columnist/Reporter of the Year: Marilyn Chase, Wall Street Journal, for the insightful interview "Melinda Gates, Unbound"; December 2006.

Animator of the Year: Wellcome Trust, UK, for Malaria Life Cycle and McGraw Hill, for Malaria Life Cycle.

Malaria Project Pioneers of the Year: Rohit Malhotra and Vishal Goyal, for starting "Music to End Malaria" fundraising concert series for university students. Based at Emory University, Rohit and Vishal launched the first "Music to End Malaria" concert in Atlanta, GA, USA and helped to spread their "End Malaria" message throughout their national networks.

Community Leaders of the Year: Coach Kuda with Mtandao Afrika, for inspiring student leaders in Africa to develop the Malaria - Ultimate Killer educational malaria site.

Supportive AIDS Activist of the Year: Louis Da Gama, Director of Malaria Advocacy, Global Health Advocates, London, UK; for representing malaria control advocacy needs as a member of the "Global Fund for AIDS, TB and Malaria" board for a 3 year term and raising the awareness of the importance of all tackling all three of these diseases.

Database of the Year: ApiDB (Apicomplexan database) for enhancing discovery on the malaria parasite and related organisms, utilizing the vast amount of genome sequence information now available and being refined.

Young Malaria Researcher of the Year: Dr. Alfonso J. Rodriguez-Morales, from Venezuela, nominated for his exceptional dedicated track record as an outstanding young researcher from South America.

Most Popular Anti-Malaria Product of the Year: Long-Lasting Insecticide-Treated Nets, (LLITNs) , have been promoted for their superiority given the increased life span of the insecticide treatment process, and thus the longer lasting effectiveness of the netting in repelling or killing mosquitoes without further routine at home treatment required.

Magazine of the Year: Sports Illustrated, for Rick Riley's May 2006 article, which has inspired grass roots community donations in the fight against malaria.

Magazine Article of the Year: "Mali: Net Working". It takes a village to fight malaria - one bed tent at a time. By Michelle Rhee. Stanford Magazine. April/May 2006.

Book for the Year: The Conquest of Malaria: Italy, 1900-1962 (by Frank M. Snowden, 296 pp, with illus, $40, ISBN 0-300-10899-0, New Haven, Conn, Yale University Press, 2006).

News Show of the Year: Kalyani, India, for using creative plays and other means to help educate the Indian population at large about malaria and other diseases of major concern in India.

Documentary of the Year: "Malaria: Fever Wars", Public Broadcasting Services, DVD available on line, detailing the malaria problem from multiple perspectives, including from Africa and from Florida, USA, where malaria was transmitted recently.

Speech of the Year: Melinda Gates, featured at the White House Malaria Summit, December 14, 2006.

Marketing Campaign of the Year: "Nothing But Nets", for its effective widespread coverage and successful involvement of the NBA leadership, basketball sports figures and major faith-based organizations, among others, in this project aimed to enhance awareness about mlaria in the United States and grass roots fundraising efforts for supporting the purchase and distribution of long-lasting insecticde-treated bednets.

Company of the year: Billiton, Mozambique, for its comprehensive successful efforts to set an example and work with government officials in Africa to control the spread of malaria, illness and death.

Most Innovative New Product of the Year: Fixed-dose, artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs) - artesunate/amodiaquine (AS/AQ) and artesunate/mefloquine (AS/MQ) - have been promoted as easier to use and less expensive than current ACTs, and they will also be available in pediatric formulations. These are the first medicines developed by Drugs for Neglected Diseases Initiative (DNDi). DNDi's innovative FACT Project (fixed-dose, artemisinin-based combination therapy) has brought together academic, public and private partners from around the world to address the need for more effective tools to battle malaria.

Malaria Advocacy Group of the Year: World Health Organization's Global Malaria Programme, for its strong stand under Dr. Arata Kochi's leadership, with his effective endorsement of the use of the insecticide DDT as a safe tool for malaria control and the use of the antimalarial drug artemisinin ONLY in combination with other drugs (in order to prevent the development of drug resistance to artemisinin).

Global Health Advocacy Group of the Year: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, for heightening awareness about malaria, engaging new leaders, and providing substantial financial support to advance the development of malaria drugs and vaccines, and to investigate comprehensive malaria control strategies.

Global Health Advocate of the Year: Dr. P. Prameelamma M.B.B.S, D.G.O., the chief functionary of the Indian NGO called "Serve Train Educate People's Society" (STEPS), is a qualified Medical Practitioner with specialization in preventive health medicine. She is concentrating on preventive and curative health aspects of the people in Urban slums and rural areas of Srikalhasti. She has conducted more than 300 free medical & health camps and awareness camps in and around Srikalahasti, and published literature focusing on development issues pertaining to rural health and reproductive behavior.

Advertising Campaign of the Year: Malaria Madness Tournament, started in 2006, was a novel highly successful endeavor to begin to entice people around the world to become involved and have FUN fundraising to raise money for long-lasting insecticide-treated bednets to protect people from malaria.

Sport of the Year: Basketball. In 2006, the NBA became officially involved in Dunk Malaria events and then partnered with the UN Foundation and others to raise funds on a massive scale for the purchase and distribution of long-lasting insecticide-treated nets

Webcast Video Conferences of the Year: "Paltalk Malaria Business Leadership Conference". This December 5, 2006 video webcast and its December 6, 2005 predecessor "Hedge Funds vs. Malaria Business Leadership Conference" were nominated as educational and awareness tools for experts and non-experts alike, from many disciplines and professions. The 2006 Paltalk MBLC was followed a week later by the White House Summit on Malaria , which is also available on line as a WebCast. Each serves to raise awareness and engage new supporters and project leaders. See Emory in the Word Article for further details.

Religious Leader of the Year: Rev. John L. McCullough, Executive Director and CEO, Church World Service. From the Executive Director's Desk... See In the Fight to End Malaria Broken Promises Create Suffering Children; December 20, 2006

Influential Global Health Book of the Year: Global Health Watch 2005-2006.

University Leader of the Year: Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, for its expanding educational role as a leader in fight against malaria (also see malaria course)

Research Technician of the Year: Lucia Gerena, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Maryland, who has supported malaria drug discovery and development for 25 years. She has published 38 peer-reviewed research articles, 150 abstracts, 2 patents and trained dozens of malaria investigators (including 2 public health students in 2006) on the behalf of the World Health Organization and the Military Infectious Disease Research Program.

Research Publications of the Year: none nominated this year (we will look forward to 2008 nominations, for 2007 accomplishments)

Scientific Presentation of the Year: none nominated this year (we will look forward to 2008 nominations, for 2007 accomplishments)

Control Program of the Year: none nominated this year (we will look forward to 2008 nominations, for 2007 accomplishments)

In Memorium: Malaria Heroes 2006

We are saddened for the passing in 2006 of Dr. Andrew Spielman, Professor at Harvard University and Dr. Lee Jong-wook, Director-General of the World Health Organization.

Thanks to all.
Wishing the world many successes and outstanding new accomplishments for 2007.

The Malaria Foundation will look forward to receiving nominations for its Malaria Awards 2008 (see for MFI's nomination form)

The Malaria Foundation International (also known as Malaria Foundation) is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, established in 1992 with the mission to facilitate the development and implemention of solutions to the health, economic and social causes of malaria. Donations are welcome to support the MFI's projects. Please see for further information.

Please direct any specific inquiries to:

Dr. Mary Galinski, Founder & President, MFI
Director, International Center for Malaria Research and Education, Emory University
Cell: 770-891-1604

Dr. Kathryn Nason-Burchenal, Vice President, MFI

Dr. Esmeralda Meyer, Outreach Director, MFI
Scientist, International Center for Malaria Research and Education, Emory University

Dr. Cindy Korir, African Liaison, MFI
Scientist, International Center for Malaria Research and Education, Emory University