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Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça, Ifakara Health Institute, de Tanzania, Malaria Research and Training Center y Kintampo Health Research Centre

Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation 2008

Pedro Alonso, director of the Manhiça Health Research Centre, 2008 Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for International Cooperation:

"We are highly honoured to learn that the Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça (CISM) in Mozambique is one of the four centres to be bestowed with this prestigious Award. The truth is that, having seen the list of laureates in prior editions, one feels most humble in view of the quality and stature of many of those who have received this Award. I speak in my name and on behalf of the Centro de Manhiça and also, I believe, on behalf of the other three African entities who have received this Award, when I state that this recognition is a stimulus to continue onwards and to keep on placing the best of our talents at the service of health and the most underprivileged countries.

Despite the 12 years it has been operating, the centre at Manhiça is young still and has made important contributions to the field of malaria research, medical care and education. This has been possible, first of all, thanks to the effort of the researchers and all the support staff who, at Manhiça and in collaboration with Barcelona, have endeavoured persistently over this period. Therefore, the first acknowledgement is for the staff at the centre.

Secondly, we must express our gratitude to the institutions which, through their work, have also made this possible, namely the Ministry of Health of Mozambique, the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona and many others. Thirdly, and most especially, we have to acknowledge the support given to this project, from day one, by the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development. Its drive and backing have intensified in recent years -if that is possible- under the leadership of the Secretary of State, Leire Pajín.

Finally, I would like to underline the role and huge boost that the visit of Her Majesty, the Queen of Spain, meant for us when we inaugurated the first building of the CISM in 1996. We have also received the encouragement of the Prince of Asturias himself and that of the Infanta Cristina, who visited our centre at Manhiça on two occasions in her role as Director of the Fundació la Caixa International Health Programme. Our thanks, therefore, to them all.

I would like to finish by reiterating our commitment to the work that we carry out to achieve the impact on health that we all pursue".

Dr. Pedro L. Alonso
Director of the Centro de Investigação em Sáude de Manhiça (CISM) in Mozambique and of the International Health Centre of the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona
Barcelona, 28th May 2008


"Thank you for the good news. I am glad the international community recognize contribution of Ifakara Health and Research Centre in the fight against malaria. Since the disease is affecting most of our children and women we need concerted effort to fight the disease in all fronts."

Hassan Mshinda
Director of Ifakara Health Institute
Ifakara, 29th May, 2008

Philip Campbell, Editor-in-Chief of Nature publications, 2007 Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for Communication and Humanities:

"Nature´s publication of the genome of the malaria parasite in 2002 was one important step in the fight against this terrible disease. We are delighted to congratulate our fellow recipients of the Prince of Asturias Award for the recognition of their contributions to that same battle".

Philip Campbell
Editor-in-Chief of Nature
Londres, 28th May, 2008

Monica Bradford, executive editor of the journal Science, 2007 Prince of Asturias Award Laureate for Communication and Humanities:

"We commend the Prince of Asturias Foundation for recognizing the importance of efforts to combat malaria, particularly in Africa. The World Health Organization has noted that a child dies of malaria every 30 seconds, and more than one million people annually lose their lives to this disease. Most of the victims are children or expectant mothers in Sub-Saharan Africa. Malaria researchers have made great strides in recent years, by deciphering the genome of the mosquito that carries the malaria parasite, and by helping to improve disease prevention and treatment strategies. But, much more research is needed. The journal Science applauds efforts by the Asturias Foundation to recognize and create awareness of the ongoing battle to combat malaria in Africa and worldwide".

Monica Bradford
Executive editor of the journal Science
Washington, 28th May, 2008

Marcel Tanner, director of the Swiss Tropical Institute, the institution that set up the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre in Tanzania in 1957:

"I wish to congratulate the committee for the excellent choice for the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation. Your decision reflects a deep recognition for the places and people where major advances were made towards to fight against malaria and other neglected diseases through partnership in research and application -a wonderful example of mutual learning for change. The award to these centres of excellence is well merited and will surely stimulate them and their partners to work even harder in contributing to reduce the burden of ill-health in our world".

Marcel Tanner
Director of the Swiss Tropical Institute
Basel, 28th May, 2008


"Malaria claims an extremely high number of lives each year in Tanzania; certainly many more than AIDS. For this reason, it is very important to foster research against this disease.

The conferral of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre is thus most opportune, since it is essential to foster research into the measures to apply in order to reduce the incidence of this disease, not only in Africa, but also worldwide.

The Spanish Embassy in Tanzania is particularly pleased that one of the Laureates has been a Tanzanian centre, thus demonstrating the concern of this country for the health of its inhabitants".

Germán Zurita y Sáenz de Navarrete
Spanish Ambassador to Tanzania
Dar Es Salaam, 28th May 2008


"The Spanish Embassy in Mali has received with great satisfaction the conferral of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on the Fight Against Malaria Programmes in Africa, among which the Malaria Research and Training Center in Mali plays an essential role. In Africa, malaria constitutes a scourge that engenders incalculable losses in terms of human lives, personal tragedies and economic and social costs. It is thus one of the main issues that civil society and governments have to face in order to achieve living conditions in consonance with the respect due to human dignity.

The receiving of this award from the hands of the Prince of Asturias in the capital of the Principality will contribute to awareness of this problem and to redoubling efforts in the fields of prevention and free universal treatment of a disease that should take not even one more life.

The Spanish Embassy in Mali extends its congratulations and sincere acknowledgement to the Laureates, worthy and meritorious recipients of such a lofty distinction; a distinction that shall likewise serve to reinforce of the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Spain and the countries of Africa".

Marta Betanzos
Spanish Ambassador to Mali
Bamako, 28th May 2008


"Today is a great day for the Centro de Manhiça and for Mozambique. Mozambique has provided the world with great news and has reiterated its commitment to the most underprivileged. It constitutes the international recognition of the silent, day-to-day, discrete work of Mozambican and Spanish researchers, carried out over more than 12 years, against malaria and other forgotten endemic diseases. This work is the perfect, eloquent expression of the true and genuine spirit of equal cooperation between two countries, which has enjoyed the backing at all times of the Ministry of Health of Mozambique, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation and Development and the Clínic Foundation.

Today is a day in which the people of Mozambique must feel especially proud on account of the international recognition of the capacity of Mozambique to carry out research at an international level; research aimed at obtaining highly relevant results in the fight against poverty that transcends Mozambique and Spain, with beneficial effects for all Humanity.

This Award that has been bestowed on the Manhiça Centre of Health Research, which has recently become a Foundation, is a clear sign that the fight against poverty is not a utopia, but commences to be a reality. I cannot even begin to stress the untiring, inestimable work of Dr. Pedro Alonso and his team in materialising what was once a dream and which has nowadays become a palpable reality. I wish to express my most affectionate congratulations to the Centro de Manhiça and to the much-loved people of Mozambique".

Juan Manuel Molina Lamothe
Spanish Ambassador to the Republic of Mozambique
Maputo, 28th May 2008


"With respect to the conferral of the Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation, I first wish to express my most cordial congratulations to the four award-winning institutions and my great satisfaction for the international recognition that it implies for the research and training institutions of excellence that have arisen on this continent. As Spain´s Ambassador to Ghana, I consider that this Award acknowledges, among others, the work of the Kintampo Health Research Centre and the efforts of the authorities and people of Ghana to eradicate this disease which takes the life of millions of people every year. The Award is likewise in keeping with the effort that the Government of Spain, and in particular, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development, is making to strengthen those international institutions fighting the disease".

Julia Olmo
Spanish Ambassador to Ghana
Accra, 29th May 2008


"I have just learnt today that the Kintampo Health Research Centre of Ghana has been selected as one of the winners of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation

On behalf of the Kintampo Health Research Centre and in my own name, I wish to express my gratitude to the Prince of Asturias Foundation for selecting the Centre as one of the award winners for International Cooperation for 2008.

Indeed, the Centre has become an important point for the global fight against the challenge posed by malaria to the development of Communities within Ghana and Africa as whole".

Francis Alex Tsegah
Ambassador of Ghana in Spain
Madrid, 28th May 2008


"I am delighted to hear about this award which commends some excellent centres in Africa which have each made major contributions to malaria research. I am especially pleased that the Kintampo Health Research Centre has been included as I have personal links with this centre which we have supported through the Gates Malaria partnership during the past few years. Under the directorship of Dr. Owusu-Agyei it has made rapid progress in the field of malaria vaccine development."

Brian Greenwood
Department of Infectious & Tropical Diseases
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Londres, 2nd June, 2008


"The PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative commends the jury of the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation for its thoughtful selection of the award winners: the Ifakara Health Research and Development Centre (Tanzania), the Kintampo Health Research Centre (Ghana), the Manhiça Health Research Centre (Mozambique), and the Malaria Research and Training Centre (Mali). Our sincere congratulations go out to the recipients of the award, which have demonstrated scientific excellence in the pursuit of a malaria vaccine. Thanks to their efforts, a vaccine to protect children against the scourge of malaria is no longer a distant dream it is on the near horizon. Emblematic of the Award for International Cooperation, the work of the recipients reflects their respective commitment to cooperation across national and institutional boundaries the type of cooperation that will be needed to effectively combat malaria at the global level. We are extremely pleased that the committees award statement highlighted the role these research centers play in improving the medical care in the countries in which they operate, and that the training of local staff for biomedical research and institutional backing in the fight against malaria has likewise been especially valued by the Jury. Progress on these fronts is often slow and difficult; consequently accomplishments frequently go unrecognized. It is heartening to see the Foundation recognize the persistence and commitment of these institutions and the individuals who lead them, and the substantial accomplishments they have realized.

Our congratulations once again to both the jury and the award recipients for a job exceptionally well done".

Christian Loucq
Director, PATH Malaria Vaccine Initiative
Bethesda, 4th June 2008


"We are very pleased that the 2008 Prince of Asturias Award honors organizations that are leading the fight against malaria. Each of these groups is saving lives by strengthening malaria prevention and treatment efforts, and conducting cutting-edge research. Their accomplishments give us hope that, one day, we will be able to eradicate this terrible disease".

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Seattle , 30th May, 2008


"I am very pleased to see that the Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça (CISM) has received the Príncipe de Asturias´ Award in the category of International Cooperation, the same I had the honour to receive in 1998.

I have the privilege to know first hand about how the CISM has grown and developed research over its 12 years of existence, and surely, I can say that this Centre really deserves it.

You already know how important and unique is the CISM. I just want to emphasise how extremely important is for my country, but also for Africa and the World. Mozambican scientists are leading the most advanced research on a vaccine against malaria. For the first time Mozambican scientists are actively involved in the international health research agenda. Mozambique and Africa are starting to lead the path toward solving their own health problems, and at the same time to deliver useful solutions to the rest of the world. All this is being possible due to the leadership, and tireless work of Dr Pedro Alonso and Dr Clara Menéndez, the commitment of the Government of Mozambique and its Ministry of Health, an also due to the fundamental support of the Spanish Cooperation Agency (AECID) which over the years has developed an integrated and truly involving model for international cooperation that is becoming an example of the best practice for many others.

I want to thank the Fundación Príncipe de Asturias for giving recognition to the Centro de Investigação em Saúde de Manhiça an the other three African Research Centres".

Graça Machel
President of the Board of the Fundação para o desenvolvimento da Comunidade
1998 Prince of Asturias Award for International Cooperation
Maputo, 5th June, 2008

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