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Global Health Leaders Celebrate Exemplary Humanitarians and Media Professionals
PR Newswire  |   May 31, 2007

WASHINGTON, May 31 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Great humanitarians in the field of global health and journalists and filmmakers will be honored tonight for their outstanding contributions to the well-being of millions of people at the 34th Annual International Conference for Global Health.

Winning the Best Practices in Global Health award, an honor for delivering exemplary health services to disadvantaged populations, is Dorothy Granada of Nicaragua who has dedicated 17 years of her life to improving the health and human rights of impoverished people in rural Nicaragua. Granada provides primary health services to the rural poor in a country where 46 percent of the population lives in poverty. Driven by the belief that basic health care is a human right, Granada expanded her clinic to deliver legal assistance, literacy programs, nonviolent mediation, gender sensitivity, and civic rights trainings, among other programs.

Dr. Bogaletch Gebre of Ethiopia is the recipient of The Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights. Dr. Bogaletch is honored for her heroic work in changing the long-standing, harmful practice of female genital excision (FGE) in Ethiopia. Through her nonprofit organization Kembatti Mentti Gezzimma (KMG), she provides education on the connections between FGE and increased risk of contracting HIV, its complications in childbirth, and its emotional consequences. KMG's approaches include educating police and attorneys to uphold new laws, and changing the attitudes of elders who are now publicly celebrating the end of the practice.

The winner of the Gates Award for Global Health, which carries a $1 million honorarium, is Population and Community Development Association (PDA) of Thailand. PDA benefits more than 10 million people in over 15,000 villages across Thailand, Vietnam and Laos with family planning, rural development and HIV/AIDS prevention programs. Under the leadership of Mechai Viravaidya, PDA has been instrumental in reducing Thailand's birth rate from 3 percent to 1 percent over the last 30 years.

Recognizing the crucial role that media professionals play in educating and inspiring public to action, the Council honored those who have captured the essence of a major health issue and brought it to the attention of the public. This year's Excellence in Media award will be presented to Ruby Yang and Thomas Lennon of The China AIDS Media Project -- the creators of the film The Blood of Yingzhou District, a documentary highlighting the affect of AIDS on children in China.

Winning the media award in photo journalism is Canadian born Steve Simon for his book "Heroines & Heroes: Hope, HIV and Africa." Kim Murphy won in the area of print journalism for her series in the Los Angeles Times entitled, "The Vanishing Russians," in which she portrayed the devastating impact of overlapping health crises in Russian society.

The Global Health Council is the world's largest membership alliance dedicated to saving lives by improving health throughout the world. The Council serves and represents thousands of public health professionals from over 100 countries on six continents.


Dave Paprocki, Global Health Council

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