Scientists Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tampham and Peter Piot, involved in the discovery of Ebola virus disease, have been honored with the ‘Global Health Leaders Awards’ presented by the World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.
Instituted in 2019 and honoring his lifetime achievements in public health, the award ceremony will be part of the high-level opening session of the 76th World Health Assembly to be held in Geneva on Sunday, April 21, May 2023.
Professor Muyembe-Tamphum from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) has been recognized for his innovation, leadership and significant contributions to the management and treatment of diseases such as Ebola virus disease. He is the Director General of the DRC National Institute for Biomedical Research in Kinshasa, Senior Lecturer in Microbiology at the University of Kinshasa Faculty of Medicine and the inaugural President of the Democratic Republic of the Congo Academy of Sciences.
He later helped design one of the first effective treatments against the virus and to deploy experimental vaccines against Ebola virus disease. He has worked tirelessly to build up the scientific capacity of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, setting up several research facilities in the country and playing a key role with the WHO in the fight against infectious diseases.
Professor Piot from Belgium is being honored for his exceptional leadership in tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic and other major global health challenges. He has been instrumental in launching major global health initiatives such as UNAIDS, the Global Fund, and other initiatives that improve health outcomes around the world.
Under his leadership, UNAIDS became the leading advocate for global action against AIDS, and he spearheaded UN reform by bringing together 10 different UN organizations.
Professor Piot was also involved in the early discovery of Ebola virus and the prevention of the first known outbreak, participating in epidemiological field investigations.
“Their combined stories and successes show how far the world has come in collaboration at the global, regional and national levels to strengthen preparedness, response and resilience to health emergencies. These outstanding scientists inspire us every day Will stay.” WHO Director General.