This week, we held our annual Champions Breakfast at the Newseum in Washington, D.C., where over 90 attendees, including Congressional staff, diplomatic leaders, and members of the global health and development community, came together to celebrate honorees and the progress made in the fight against malaria.
The Malaria Vision Award: Presented to Chairman Senator Patrick Leahy and Ranking Member Senator Lindsey Graham of the Appropriations Subcommittee on State Department, Foreign Operations and Related Programs for their leadership in prioritizing resources, helping to save millions of lives and protecting the U.S.
The Malaria Action Award: Presented to the Right Honorable Stephen O’Brien, MP, a Conservative Party member of the UK Parliament and champion for global health programs including DFID’s bilateral assistance and UK funding for the Global Fund.
The Private Sector Excellence Award: Presented to Alere for its cutting edge work in rapid diagnostic testing (RDT). While accepting the award, Alere’s Vice President Ellen Chiniara announced a new partnership with the Gates Foundation to develop ultrasensitive RDTs.
The event highlighted strong bipartisan leadership and the enormous impact the U.S. and partners have made in this fight. Beyond the humanitarian impact in endemic countries, malaria remains a public health and national security threat for the U.S., as imported cases sicken our brave service members deployed overseas.
The breakfast also featured speaker Heather Higginbottom, Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources, who reinforced the government’s commitment to bringing an end to malaria. Other speakers included Gayle Smith, Special Assistant to President Obama and Senior Director at the National Security Council, who spoke about the President’s Malaria Initiative’s role in the fight, and Dr. Mark Dybul, Executive Director of the Global Fund and former US Global AIDS Coordinator under President George W. Bush, who highlighted the global successes the malaria community has achieved so far.