Philippine Doctor Wins WHO Sasakawa Health Prize [2007/06/27]
Dr.Socrates receiving award
The 2007 Award Presentation Ceremony for the World Health Organization (WHO) Sasakawa Health Prize, established to promote progress toward the goals of the WHO’s Health for All initiative, was held at the WHO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 17th. Yohei Sasakawa of the Nippon Foundation presented USD 30,000 in prize money and a commemorative statuette to this year’s winner, orthopedic surgeon Dr. Jose Antonio Socrates of the Philippines. Dr. Socrates has said he will use the prize money to open a job-training workshop for people with disabilities. The Sasakawa Health Prize recognizes individuals and organizations that provide sustainable grassroots healthcare activities in communities around the world. No individual or organization from Japan has yet won the prize.
Established in 1984, the WHO Sasakawa Health Prize recognizes individuals and organizations making contributions to the health and primary healthcare of people around the world. From 1985 through 2007, prizewinners have included 19 groups and 29 individuals.
This year’s winner, Dr. Jose Antonio Socrates of the Philippines, is 58 years old. Dr. Socrates has established two nongovernmental organizations at a medical center on the island province of Palawan, known as the Philippines’ last frontier. These NGOs provide primary health care services in sparsely populated regions. They also deliver vitamins, sanitary supplies, and potable water to local residents and provide them with health management services. In addition to these activities, Dr. Socrates has contributed to the development of community public-health programs in the Philippines, by serving as Palawan’s Provincial Health Officer.
After praising Dr. Socrates’ efforts, Yohei Sasakawa, Chairman of the Nippon Foundation, had this to say at the Award Presentation Ceremony: “Let’s focus once again on the importance of primary health care, and how we can help people everywhere maintain or improve their health while they strive for their dreams.”