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Public Health (12-10-2015)

Winners of EU Health Award 2015 announced: Three NGOs have made a notable difference in fighting Ebola

Luxembourg, Three winners of the EU Health Award 2015 were announced today at an award ceremony which took place during a conference on lessons learned from the Ebola outbreak. The three NGOs were recognised for their significant contribution to fighting Ebola in West Africa and for promoting higher levels of public health in Europe.

Prizes were given by Vytenis Andriukaitis, European Commissioner for Health and Food Safety, Christos Stylianides, European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management and Lydia Mutsch, Health Minister for Luxembourg, as follows:

First prize (20 000 €)

First place was awarded to Alliance for International Medical Action (ALIMA), for the initiative “Emergency medical response to the Ebola Virus Disease”. ALIMA’s regional emergency intervention to Ebola resulted in the opening of a 40-bed Ebola Treatment Centre and outreach activities in Forested Guinea, infection and prevention control measures in Mali and Senegal, and conducting of a clinical trial on an anti- Ebola treatment with the French public research institute INSERM.

Second prize (15 000 €)

Second place was awarded to Concern Worldwide for the initiative, “Safe and Dignified Burials Programme, Freetown, Sierra Leone”. Concern Worldwide is part of a consortium that took over the management of 10 burial teams from the government of Sierra Leone in October 2014. This included the management of two cemeteries, grave digging staff, and transport teams. Concern Worldwide’s support teams collected over 5,500 deceased bodies from the community and the health facilities. Of these, at least 97% were buried within 24 hours of being reported.

Third prize (10 000 €)

Third place was awarded to the Spanish Red Cross for the initiative “West Africa Ebola outbreak relief operation”. Amongst their many activities, the Spanish Red Cross supported the creation and management of two Ebola treatment centres in Sierra Leone, provided psychosocial support for the population affected by the outbreak, and helped monitor the health of irregular migrants travelling from the affected areas to the EU. They also developed several activities to inform the Spanish population about Ebola and reduce the stigma.