Fourth Annual Malaria Champions Breakfast Honored the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research in the Fight Against Malaria
The Malaria No More Policy Center announced the recipients of annual awards for distinguished service in the fight against malaria. The three separate awards, which this year were received by Senators Chris Coons and Roger Wicker (R-MS), Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (R-01-NE) and the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR), were presented at the Fourth Annual Malaria Champions Breakfast in Washington, D.C. on June 7.
The awards acknowledge and honor U.S. leadership in policy and research for malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment.
The Malaria Vision Award, presented to leaders who are strong voices for effective malaria policy, was given to Senators Wicker and Coons for their work as co-chairs of the Senate Working Group on Malaria. Through the Working Group, Senators Wicker and Coons have worked to keep malaria at the forefront of global health issues. Additionally, they have helped highlight the malaria R&D work being conducted in their home states.
The Malaria Action Award, presented to a leader or institution that translates policy into tangible action, was this year presented to the WRAIR. The award is in recognition of the work being done by the research institution to develop a malaria vaccine candidate, in addition to its other critical contributions, such as new antimalarial drugs, to the fight against malaria. Past recipients of the Malaria Action Award are Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer, U.S. Global Malaria Coordinator, and USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah.
"I am extremely honored to accept this award on behalf of several generations and thousands of dedicated professionals working at the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research who have quietly advanced the cause of malaria control for more than 100 years," said Colonel Peter Weina, Deputy Commander of the Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. "Our dedication to both soldier health and world health makes the elimination of malaria suffering as critical today as it was for the WRAIR back in 1893."
The Congressman Donald Payne Memorial Award for Leadership in the fight against malaria was presented to Congressman Jeff Fortenberry, co-chair of the Congressional Caucus on Malaria and Neglected Tropical diseases. The Payne award honors Congressman Donald Payne who was an ardent supporter of global health issues and lent his voice to protect the world's most vulnerable, reaching across the aisle to achieve real results.
Malaria is an entirely preventable and treatable disease which kills over 650,000 people each year. Through programs like those of the U.S. Military, the President's Malaria Initiative (PMI) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the U.S. Government helps provide funding for critical life-saving tools, such as insecticide-treated bed nets, indoor residual spraying, rapid diagnostic tests, antimalarials and research to develop a vaccine against malaria.