The V DKV Medicine and Solidarity Awards have recognized Dr. Oriol Mitjà, Dr. Bonaventura Clotet, the Illumin Africa Foundation and Sphera Global Health Care. These awards, created in 2014, have an annual economic bonus of 40,000 euros to be divided among the winners.
The four honorees received their awards during a gala held on Thursday, May 24, at the Casa América in Madrid, under the presidency of the Doña Fátima Báñez, Minister of Employment and Social Security, the honorary presidency of Queen Sofía and the presence of various institutional representatives from the health and social care sector and from the third sector.
Four winners and a special prize
Dr. Bonaventura Clotet has been awarded the DKV Lifetime Achievement Award, which pays tribute to the long-standing dedication of a professional -or collective of professionals- especially involved in social work related to medicine and health. Dr. Clotet has been dedicated more than 35 years to find a cure for HIV infection and to eliminate the stigma of AIDS, with the aim of improving the quality of life of infected people and obtaining research resources. He is currently the president of the Fight AIDS Foundation, directs the Institute of AIDS Research IrsiCaixa and is the head of the Infectious Diseases Service of the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital in Badalona (Barcelona). Since 2006, he co-directs the HIVACAT project, the Catalan AIDS Vaccine Research Program. He is also a scientific advisor to Aelix Therapeutics and AlbaJuna Therapeutics, two spin-offs created from IrsiCaixa. The numerous advances achieved have placed Dr. Clotet as one of the world leaders in research against HIV.
Dr. Oriol Mitjà has been the winner in the category DKV Prize to the Solidarity Doctor, that recognizes his dedication to eradicate the yaws. Yaws is an unattended tropical disease of skin manifestation that affects more than 100,000 children between 5 and 15 years old in 13 endemic countries of West Africa, Southeast Asia and the Pacific. In 2012, from his research platform on the island of Lihir (Papua New Guinea), Dr. Mitjà, a scientist at the Institute of Global Health of Barcelona (ISGlobal), a center promoted by the Banking Foundation "La Caixa", discovered that a one single dose of azithromycin could eliminate the disease in the body quickly, painlessly and affordably. This discovery laid the foundations of the strategy of the World Health Organization (Morges strategy) to eradicate the disease in 2020, through the massive distribution of the antibiotic.
The Fundación Ilumináfrica, with its project "Light in your eyes - telemedicine in Chad" and thanks to the work of its members, led by Dr. Enrique Mínguez Muro, president of the entity, has been awarded the DKV Professional Award, which supports the excellent performance of health professionals or DKV Seguros hospitals. The project of this foundation provides visual assistance in one of the most depressed areas of the planet. Since 2007, the Illumináfrica Foundation has displaced 117 cooperating doctors and 54 non-medical cooperators in 40 expeditions to Chad, performed 4,145 surgical procedures and 17,869 consultations and delivered more than 5,120 prescription glasses and 4,053 sunglasses.
The Award for Innovation in Digital Health, which recognizes those projects that are committed to innovation in e-Health from a clearly solidarity perspective, has fallen to Sphera Global Health Care, for its research project "Impact of telemedicine in health centers community in rural areas of Rwanda". This project consists in the implementation of a telemedicine platform and pediatric suitcases equipped with biomedical devices in Rwanda, in order that pediatricians of the most specialized hospital in the country, King Faisal Hospital (KFH), make consultations in public health centers located in rural areas where there are no doctors. The key is to increase access to health services, without having to depend on large investments and minimizing some of the problems of qualification of human resources and distance.
Likewise, a special prize has been awarded in the career category to Dr. María Luisa Manrique Revilla for her 21 years of volunteering in favor of health training for professionals, youth and women in Mozambique; her efforts to raise funds to improve the health status and education of the children of this country; as well as its sensitizing work on these needs in our environment.