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Professor Brian Greenwood awarded first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Award

Professor Brian Greenwood, Manson Professor of Clinical Tropical Medicine at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine will be awarded the first Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for research by Prime Minister Fukuda, and will also meet their Majesties the Emperor and Empress of Japan at the TICAD4 conference in Yokohama today.

The Hideyo Noguchi Prize aims to award individuals with outstanding achievements in the field of medical research and health services, and seeks to encourage the fight against diseases in Africa. Professor Greenwood, who has spent more than 30 years on site in Africa, was awarded the Prize for his bold and innovative work on malaria, and for helping to turn the tide on the disease at a time when malaria was spreading uncontrollably across the African continent

In contrast to other well-known scientific prizes which were established by private citizens via foundations, this new global award which takes the unprecedented approach of recognising the equal importance of focusing on a specific region - was established by the Government of Japan and is funded by Japanese taxpayers money. The prize was founded in July 2006, to mark the official visit by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi to Africa in May of that year, and the 80th anniversary of Dr. Hideyo Noguchis death, and is worth 100 million Yen or roughly 1 million US dollars for each category. It will be awarded every five years to coincide with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD), which this year runs between 28 and 30 May.

The Award Ceremony, which will take place during a commemorative banquet attended by the Minister Prime Minister and more than forty African Heads of State, will be held at 1900 (11.00am GMT). It will form part of the The Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV) which runs between 28-30 May, 2008.

Professor Greenwood and his fellow laureate Professor Miriam K. Were, Chairperson of Kenyas National AIDS Control Council, will also deliver a commemorative lecture at the United Nations University in Tokyo at 1000 (Japan time) on Thursday 29 May. Professor Greenwoods contribution will focus on whether the eradication of malaria is possible.

Professor Greenwood comments: I am very honoured to have received this prize from the Japanese Government which honours the contribution of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi to tropical medicine. This award recognises not just my contribution but that of the many colleagues from Africa and elsewhere in the world with whom I have been fortunate to work in Africa for over 40 years. I am exploring ways in which this generous award can be used most effectively to support young African scientists in the fight against the major infectious diseases such as malaria, pneumonia and meningitis which still kill over two million African children every year.

Professor Malegapuru William Makgoba, Vice-Chancellor & Principal of Kawzulu Natal University, and Chair of the Medical Services Selection Sub-Committee, summarized the importance of the Hideyo Noguchi Prize thus: In combining research and service excellence with strong human values of dignity, the prize has opened a new approach . . . With a reward value of 1m USD for each of the two categories, the Noguchi Africa Prize already rivals any of the major established scientific awards making it highly competitive and sought after. The Prize has excited and captured the imagination of the world, particularly the scientific community. It represents a new hope for a world yearning for human rights, human dignity, equality and transparency.


Contact: Gemma Howe
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine

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