MDP Director, Dr. Yao Sodahlon, and Dr. Massitan Dembélé were selected as co-winners of the 2020 Kyelem Prize, presented by the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Support Center during the meeting of the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD).
The Kyelem Prize is named for the late Dr. Dominique Kyelem (1962-2013), a former Mectizan Expert Committee member and program director of the NTD Support Center. Dr. Kyelem was highly regarded for his work bringing together partners from the program implementation and research communities to work towards the goals of NTD control and elimination.
Dr. Sodahlon was recognized for his leadership, which spans from national program implementation to leading the Mectizan Donation Program. He is widely respected for leveraging the expertise of field teams and communities. The relationships he’s developed and his skills in diplomacy have helped bridge the connections between partners and endemic communities towards their shared goals of eliminating river blindness and lymphatic filariasis.
“For both our Prize winners today, a defining characteristic is their truly hands-on engagement with the communities they care for and the research they carry out,” said Eric Ottesen, former director and special advisor to the NTD Support Center.
“The award is a call to keep up the fight for a world free of [NTDs]. That’s what Dominique would want to see.” Yao stated in his acceptance speech.