WASHINGTON -- GHESKIO, an institution in Haiti founded nearly three decades ago to fight a mysterious killer disease later identified as AIDS, accepted the prestigious 2010 Gates Award for Global Health tonight for its ground-breaking clinical service, research, and training to treat and prevent the spread of the HIV/AIDS and other illnesses at the 37th Annual International Conference on Global Health www.globalhealth.org .
GHESKIO – Groupe Haitien d'Etude du Sarcome de Kaposi et des Infectieuses Opportunistes – becomes the 10th winner of the award, and judges not only lauded the group for its impact from a long record of work but also for its swift response to treat the sick and injured after the January 12 earthquake. Among the damage was GHESKIO's own headquarters in Port-au-Prince, and yet it opened its doors to several thousand suddenly homeless people, and then opened a hospital.
The group, led by Dr. Jean William Pape, a Haitian native who has been a leading clinicians since the early days of the epidemic, has been able to achieve AIDS patient survival rates and treatment adherence with patients that rival those of the most advanced hospitals and clinics in the U.S. and Europe. Its research has informed the treatment and care of AIDS patients worldwide.
"GHESKIO won this award because of the remarkable impact that GHESKIO has had in saving lives and strengthening the health system in Haiti," said Global Health Council President and CEO Jeffrey L. Sturchio. "They have built GHESKIO into a rare institution – one based in a developing country that has become a leader in the global research community. That dual character – world-class research capabilities tied to deep roots in the local community – is what sets GHESKIO apart and makes them the natural recipient of this recognition.''
"For almost 30 years GHESKIO has tirelessly served those most in need in Haiti and translated its metric-based outcomes into effective policy for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and associated diseases such as tuberculosis into models for the developing world,'' said Pape. "I could not be more proud of our Haitian staff who have worked diligently before, during and after the earthquake to meet the needs of the population.''
GHESKIO will receive $1 million as part of the award, established by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to recognize organizations that have made outstanding contributions to improving health, especially in resource-poor settings, and is managed by the Global Health Council.
SOURCE Global Health Council