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Mathuram Santosham, M.D., receives 2014 Albert B. Sabin Gold Medal Award
Date:5/16/2014

Mathuram Santosham, MD, professor of international health and pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, received the 2014 Albert Sabin Gold Medal Award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute at an awards ceremony outside Washington, D.C ., last month. The annual award recognizes a member of the public health community for their contributions in the field of vaccinology or a complementary field.

In announcing its award, the Sabin Vaccine Institute noted Dr. Santosham's work with Navajo children, H. Influenza Type b (Hib) vaccine efficacy studies. These findings led to the elimination of Hib in North America and ultimately other western countries. The Institute also praised Dr. Santosham's role in the creation of the Hib Initiative, a project funded by the GAVI-Alliance that promotes Hib vaccines for children in low-income countries. At present all 53 GAVI-eligible countries -- which have a Gross National Income per capita below or equal to $1,570 are using or will soon use the Hib vaccine. GAVI estimates that by 2020 the Hib vaccine will have prevented 7 million deaths.

"I am honored to receive this prestigious award from the Sabin Vaccine Institute, which is also dedicated to reducing needless human suffering by ensuring the availability of safe, low-cost vaccines," said Dr. Santosham, who is also the founder and director of the Center for American Indian Health at the Bloomberg School. "My hope is that scientists, doctors and public health advocates continue to partner with governments and communities around the world to wipe out preventable diseases. Our work against Hib diseases demonstrates what is possible."

Hib disease was the leading cause of bacterial meningitis among U.S. children under 5 years old before the Hib vaccine was introduced, according to the National Institutes of Health. Before the vaccine, about 20,000 U.S. children under age 5 contracted Hib disease, and about 3% to 6% of them died. Globall
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Contact: Susan Sperry
ssperry1@jhu.edu
410-955-6919
Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

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