02 September 2016, Geneva, Switzerland - Five extraordinary individuals have been shortlisted for the 2016 Kochon Prize. The theme of this year's Kochon Prize was "Unsung Heroes Working to End TB: Episode 2," aimed to honor the countless people who are tirelessly working every day, all over the world, quietly making miracles happen for the people and communities affected by TB. This way the Kochon Prize continues for the second year to honor unknown and unrecognized people who dedicate their lives to those suffering because of TB.
Out of the 22 proposals received this year, below are the five shortlisted nominees:
Anthony Moll of Philanjalo, South Africa. Dr. Moll is the Founder and Chairman of the Board of Philanjalo, an organization which provides community and hospice based care for patients with TB and HIV in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa. He has worked as a clinician and researcher in this region for over 20 years, pioneering TB/HIV integrated care, and a holistic patient-centered approach in the area.
Galina Zaporojan of Speranta Terrei, Moldova. Ms. Zaporojan has worked as a moderator with the TB community organization Sperrenta Terrei for over five years, convincing people to get tested, visiting people affected by TB, and accompanying treatments among the hard to reach homeless population of Balti, Moldova.
Peter Owiti of Wote Youth Development Projects, Kenya. Mr. Owiti is the Executive Director of Wote Youth Development Projects, a HIV/TB advocacy organization that uses drama and poetry to raise awareness. He has worked as a volunteer for the last 15 years, not only visiting people affected by TB and supporting them to collect their drugs, but also tirelessly advocating for more TB funding and political attention.
Rafail Mehdiyev of the Ministry of Justice, Azerbaijan. Under the leadership of Mr. Mehdiyev, the Main Medical Department of the Ministry of Justice of Azerbaijan has been able to reduce TB mortality in prison populations and reverse the trend of increasing TB incidence. He has overseen a systemic move towards a patient-centered approach and the introduction of rapid diagnostic tests in the prison system, leading to high treatment success rates.
Safar Naimov of Stop TB Partnership Tajikistan. As an MDR-TB survivor, Mr. Naimov has experienced firsthand the stigma and isolation that people affected by TB often experience. This led him to form a support group and later the Stop TB Partnership Tajikistan, aiming to bridge the gap between health systems and communities affected by TB.
The Kochon Prize, consisting of a USD 65,000 award, has been given annually for the past 10 years to individuals and/or organizations that have made a highly significant contribution to ending TB, a disease that is curable but still causes the deaths of three people every minute. The Prize is fully funded by the Kochon Foundation, which is located in the Republic of Korea.
The 2016 Kochon Prize winner will be announced and awarded on Monday, 24 October 2016 at the Stop TB Partnership’s Town Hall Meeting and TB Awards Gala Dinner on the sidelines of the 47th Union World Conference on Lung Health in Liverpool, United Kingdom.