GHESKIO honored with 2010 Gates Award for Global Health

January 19, 2016

"Bill Pape has become a hero of public health, not only for his ground-breaking TB and HIV research, but also for his role as a provider of vital care and treatment services for many of Haiti's most vulnerable populations,'' Goosby said.

The organization has been a major implementer of programs funded by the U.S. President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria. It also has been a critical scientific partner in HHS's AIDS Clinical Trials Group and the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.

"What happened in Haiti has become one of the world's most successful responses to the HIV/AIDS epidemic, despite enduring political difficulties and limited economic resources,'' said Dr. Paul Farmer, professor at Harvard Medical School and founder of Partners in Health, who has been a longtime colleague and collaborator with GHESKIO. "This achievement would have been impossible without the vision and indefatigable labor of Dr. Pape and his colleagues."

GHESKIO was created in 1982 after Haitian physicians from different specialties began observing a rise in mortality rates from previously treatable diseases such as diarrhea and Kaposi's sarcoma. In 1983, GHESKIO published the first description of HIV/AIDS in the developing world in The New England Journal of Medicine. Since its inception, GHESKIO has worked in close partnership with Weill Cornell Medical College, the Haitian Ministry of Health, the Haitian Medical Association and over 100 public and private institutions in Haiti.

"It has been 30 years since we began work in Haiti,'' said Dr. Warren Johnson Jr., director of the Center for Global Health at Weill Cornell, a co-founder of GHESKIO and Pape's advisor and mentor since medical school at Cornell. "It started with a rehydration unit for infants, progressed to AIDS/TB, and continues with the earthquake and its devastation. The challenges never diminish, but continue to be met by the indomitable spirit of GHESKIO and its partners. The award is a hard earned honor."

In 2000, the Haitian government designated GHESKIO a "Public Utility," a status usually reserved for institutions "essential to the welfare of the Haitian people," such as the Red Cross. In 2003, the Haitian Government asked GHESKIO to expand its integrated prevention and care model to 26 public and private hospitals throughout the country. They provide training, supervision and administrative support at all of these sites, which include Haiti's four largest public hospitals.

SOURCE Global Health Council