Washington, D.C., 20 May 2011 (PAHO) - TDR, the international partnership for research and scientific collaboration on diseases of poverty, is the winner of the 2011 Gates Award for Global Health, the world's largest public health prize. The announcement came this week during the 64th World Health Assembly.

Based at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, TDR supports and advocates research and development on neglected diseases and promotes leadership and capacity-building in this area. TDR is supported by WHO, the United Nations Childrens Fund (UNICEF), the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the World Bank.

In the Americas, the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)-through a TDR focal point based in Brazil-helps TDR coordinate a wide network of scientists, academic institutions and public health experts working on diseases of poverty. These include universities throughout Latin America and the Caribbean that are working on neglected diseases, as well as health research institutes such as the Oswaldo Cruz Institute (FIOCRUZ) in Brazil, the Pedro Kouri Institute of Tropical Medicine in Cuba, the Gorgas Memorial Institute of Health Studies in Panama, National Institute of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Ecuador, the National Institute of Public Health of Mexico and the national health institutes of Colombia, Paraguay and Peru, among others.

PAHO also channels TDR funding in the Americas through initiatives that support priority setting for regional research, capacity building, and research and innovation on infectious diseases of poverty.
PAHO member countries participate in TDR's Joint Coordinating Board; current members include Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Peru and the United States.
Established in 1975, TDR has supported work that has helped dramatically improve control of leprosy and onchocerciasis and that continues to reduce the impact of diseases such as dengue, visceral leishmaniasis, malaria, and tuberculosis.

The Gates Award for Global Health honor organizations that have developed processes for improving health, especially in resource-poor settings, with measurable results. This year's award, which includes $1 million to support TDR's work, will be presented on June 16 at the 38th Annual International Conference on Global Health in Washington, D.C.


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