Washington, D. C., 16 June 2009 (PAHO)—As countries of the Americas move forward in the effort to decrease the burden of malaria in the Region, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), The George Washington University Center for Global Health (CGH), and other partners seek to identify, celebrate, and provide avenues to emulate best practices and success stories in malaria prevention and control.
Nurse Marly Panduro visits a home in Peru to administer antimalarial medication (Photo by Sonia Mey-Schmidt - PAHO/WHO)
Conceived on November 6, 2008 during the 2nd annual commemoration of Malaria Day in the Americas, the Malaria Champions of the Americas Award honors innovative efforts that have significantly contributed towards overcoming the challenges of malaria in communities, countries, or the Region. The recognition is conferred to implementers, and provides them and their respective projects and institutions opportunities for capacity building, an expanded network for technical collaboration, and the distinction of being role models and inspirations for the global battle against malaria.
Any individual, institution, group or project conducting efforts to overcome the challenges of malaria in the Americas is eligible to participate and receive the distinction. Activities should preferably be ongoing or completed within the last year. Nominations will be evaluated based on demonstrated achievements in the following areas:
Promotes the development of sustainable skills that translates into a strengthened ability to define and achieve objectives.
Technical Expertise and Innovation
Exhibits competent use of current technical knowledge, tools, and skills; and incorporates original ideas, inventive approaches, and creative strategies that increase productivity.
Fosters partnerships with stakeholders to fortify and broaden the scope and reach of activities.
Displays capacity to establish direction and to influence and align other collaborators towards accomplishing common objectives in a cohesive and coherent manner thereby serving as an influential role model.
Demonstrates success in malaria prevention and control in a community, a country or in the Region.
Nomination period for the Malaria Champions of the Americas is from April 25, 2009 to August 21, 2009. Nomination forms can be accessed here.
A select panel of judges representing various sectors and stakeholders will review the top qualifying submissions and select the winning candidate. The top three nominees will be announced August 2009 and will be invited to participate in a regional event that commemorates Malaria Day in the Americas on November 6, 2009 where the Malaria Champion of the Americas will be honored.
The top three nominees will each receive commemorative certificates and will be featured on several communications and advocacy publications on malaria by PAHO and GWU (e.g. short film documentaries, books and manuscripts, press and media news releases).
The 2009 Malaria Champion of the Americas will receive the following additional prizes:
Opportunity to participate in three select PAHO capacity-building activities for malaria prevention and control
Support from a George Washington University Global Health Service Fellow for approximately three months to aid in research and field work
US$2,500 cash award for malaria-related capacity-building efforts (e.g. staff training / education; research; project proposal development; or other activities that enhance skills and abilities to achieve goals and targets)
As a result of strengthened control efforts the burden of malaria in the Americas has greatly been reduced, leading to a 32% reduction in malaria morbidity since 2000. Of twenty-one malaria endemic countries in the Americas, more than half have met the Roll Back Malaria Goal of reducing cases by 50% in 2010 while six countries have already met the Millennium Development Goal of reducing cases by 75% in 2015. Continuing challenges in meeting these goals throughout the Region include: need for stronger and enduring engagement of countries (endemic and non-endemic), continuous and strengthened monitoring and evaluation efforts, need to increase investments of all stakeholders and need to build upon the momentum of Malaria Day in the Americas so that peoples of the region become strong and involved advocates against the disease.
PAHO, founded in 1902, works with all the countries of the Americas to improve the health and quality of life of their peoples. It also serves as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization (WHO).
The Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF) is a US nonprofit organization located in Washington DC. Founded in 1968, the foundation is dedicated to building public health expertise in the Americas to innovatively lead development of healthier generations by partnering with the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), the private sector, and major public health research, policy, and development groups.
The George Washington Center for Global Health carries out innovative research and scholarly service activities to meet the evolving challenges of the 21st century global health and development environment. Working with a diverse group of partners, the Center aims to strengthen the link between science and policy and to improve responses to critical health issues around the world.
PAHO Video: Malaria in the Américas (In Spanish)
PAHO Video: Malaria Day in the Americas 2008
Malaria Page (PAHO)