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Thursday, May 29, 2008
Kenyan, Brit win first Noguchi Africa Prize
YOKOHAMA — A Kenyan woman and a British man on Wednesday were handed the inaugural Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize from the government for their achievements in medical research and health services.
The prize for medical service was awarded to Mariam Were, who holds multiple executive positions at health-promotion organizations in Africa. Were has improved health-related services throughout the continent by using community-based approaches, including building public toilets in communities.
Brian Greenwood won the prize for medical research for raising public awareness of how to prevent and treat malaria, which kills more than 1 million Africans a year. His contributions include demonstrating the effectiveness of insecticide-treated nets for malaria control.
"I never imagined I could come to the place where Dr. Noguchi worked. This was a very special experience," Greenwood said at a news conference before the award ceremony at Nagahama Hall in Kanazawa Ward, Yokohama, where Noguchi worked in the quarantine office.
The Noguchi prize is named after the Japanese bacteriologist who died of yellow fever in Ghana in 1928 while researching the disease. Wednesday's prize ceremony took place in Yokohama as part of events related to the start of the Tokyo International Conference on African Development, which ends Friday.
The prize, worth ¥100 million, was established in July 2006 to encourage efforts to fight disease in Africa. The winners will be chosen every five years.