Dr Mwele Malecela, Director in the Office of the Regional Director WHO/AFRO, has been awarded the 2017 Kyelem Prize alongside Professor David Molyneux from the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM).
This comes as a result of the key role the two experts (Dr Malecela and Prof Molyneux) have played in combating Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).
The two are joint winners of the prize which was presented to them at the Closing Plenary on Saturday, during a meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) which took place November 3 – 4 in Baltimore, Maryland, United States.
Dr Malecela has expressed her joy upon being named one of the two winners of the prize which was received on her behalf by Dr Upendo John Mwingira, the NTD Programme Manager at the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children in Tanzania.
“[It’s]…a real honour to have @upendo_john receive the award on my behalf! Thanks @tzntdcp “I am because you are” It’s our collective success! Hongera,’’ wrote Dr Malecela on her official twitter account.
Dr Malecela (born March 26, 1963) was the Director General of the Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and the Tanzania Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Program, becoming the first woman to have headed NIMR since 2010.
The Kyelem Prize which Dr Malecela and her colleague Prof Molyneux won; is named after the late Dr Dominique Kyelem, a medical doctor from Burkina Faso who worked tirelessly in combating the NTDs.
Last year (November 11, 2016), the same prize was awarded posthumously to Dr Vasanthapuram Kumaraswami, former director-in-charge of two centers of the Indian Council for Medical Research.
Professor David Molyneux, who won the prize jointly with Dr Malecela, has previously worked collaboratively with the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) in Tanzania in the control of Lympatic Filariasis.
In this VIDEO, Molyneux explains how his efforts in controlling NTDs on Mafia Island in Tanzania, has come with huge impact. He spoke to a medical journalist from Tanzania, Dr Syriacus Buguzi, during the NTD summit in Geneva this year.