Congratulations to Doctors Without Borders, Recipient of the 2019 Fries Prize for Improving HealthA young girl receives a measles vaccination on Day 1 of the vaccination campaign. Kolo, Bas-Uele Province, Democratic Republic of Congo.
By Diana Robelotto
Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has been present in all major humanitarian emergencies over the last few decades responding to a growing gap in health needs across the globe. Their work proved essential, for instance, during the 2014–2016 Ebola outbreak in West Africa where MSF was at the forefront of treating patients as well as providing training and education to local health staff.
MSF is an amazing humanitarian organization with an incredibly dedicated team. Today I have the honor of attending the annual Fries Prize for Improving Health award ceremony at the American Public Health Association’s (APHA) meeting in Philadelphia, where MSF will be awarded this year’s prize. The CDC Foundation partners with the James F. and Sarah T. Fries Foundation to present the Fries Prize for Improving Health each year.
MSF is receiving the Fries prize for its lifesaving impact on the health of people across the world. The Fries Prize for Improving Health is presented to an individual or organization doing the most to improve health for the greatest number of people, and MSF certainly embodies this principle.
As part of its varied response work, MSF delivers emergency aid to people affected by armed conflict, epidemics, natural or man-made disasters, or exclusion from health care in more than 70 countries. Founded in France in 1971 by a small group of physicians and journalists, MSF is a global movement with the purpose of saving lives and alleviating the suffering of people in danger by delivering medical care where it is most needed. In emergencies and their aftermath, MSF provides health care, rehabilitates and runs hospitals and clinics, performs surgery, battles epidemics, carries out vaccination campaigns, operates feeding centers for malnourished children and offers mental health care.
In addition to the Fries Prize for Improving Health, the CDC Foundation also manages and administers the annual Elizabeth Fries Health Education Award. At this year’s Fries Prize for Improving Health ceremony, Dr. Judy Monroe, CDC Foundation president and CEO, and Greg Fries, representing the Fries Family who created and supports the award, will present the prize to MSF.
Congratulations to MSF for this well-deserved recognition!