Washington, DC, April 25, 2011 (PAHO) — On the occasion of World Malaria Day, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO), Pan American Health and Education Foundation (PAHEF), and the George Washington University Center for Global Health (CGH) today launched this year's search for the "2011 Malaria Champions of the Americas."

Currently in its third year, the annual award honors innovative efforts that have significantly contributed to overcoming the challenges of malaria in communities, countries, or the Region of the Americas as a whole.

Ideal candidates for the award should have demonstrated achievements in capacity building, technical expertise and innovation, collaboration, leadership and impact, with a focus on one or more of the following areas: gender, ethnicity, human rights, health promotion, primary health care, and social protection, and /or the creation of synergies with prevention and control efforts targeting other health problems.

Winners of the 2011 Malaria Champion of the Americas award will receive:

  • The opportunity to participate in three PAHO capacity-building trainings for malaria prevention and control
  • A 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) 
  • A commemorative plaque 
  • The opportunity to be featured in various communication platforms of PAHO, PAHEF, and GWU-CGH as a "best practice" story on malaria.  
Nominations for the 2011 Malaria Champions of the Americas will be accepted from 25 April 2011 to 24 June 2011. Full details and nomination forms can be downloaded from www.paho.org/malaria2011.

Recognition will be conferred to top winners during the commemoration of Malaria Day in the Americas in November.

Previous top awardees include the National Malaria Board of Suriname, recognized in 2010 for outstanding achievement in reducing Suriname's malaria burden through strengthened partnerships, community mobilization, and implementing a comprehensive program of surveillance, prevention, diagnosis, and treatment that extends to border areas and mobile populations. In 2009, the National Service for Control of Arthropod-Transmitted Diseases (SNEM) in Ecuador's Ministry of Health and the Project for Malaria Control in Andean Border Areas (PAMAFRO) of the Andean Health Organization were accorded the top honors for outstanding contributions to the prevention and control of malaria in the country through an innovative partnership targeting vulnerable populations. The program included training of community leaders and health workers, educational information dissemination, and consolidation and strengthening of the capacity of the country to overcome the challenges of malaria. Other honorees include Malaria Champions from Brazil, Colombia, and Mexico.

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.


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Communicable Diseases and Health Analysis Department
Neglected, Tropical and Vector Borne Diseases Unit
Malaria Program