(Los Angeles) August 23, 2017 – The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation announced today that the global health organization icddr,b is this year’s recipient of the Hilton Humanitarian Prize. A distinguished panel of independent international jurors selected icddr,b, which is dedicated to solving the most serious health issues facing low and middle-income countries, as the recipient. Based in Dhaka, Bangladesh, for more than 50 years, icddr,b has been at the forefront of innovative, low-cost health solutions that have resulted in saving millions of lives globally.
While developing countries are not the first place people look to find a public health revolution, icddr,b’s world-class facility in Dhaka has served for decades as a global hub for cutting edge research on enteric diseases. The institution began in an attempt to discover and develop realistic, scalable interventions for cholera and other diarrheal diseases, and has since grown into the world’s largest diarrheal hospital treating more than 200,000 patients a year, almost all of whom recover within 36 hours. Notably, its development of Oral Rehydration Solution, which treats the symptoms of diarrheal disease connected to cholera, has saved tens of millions of lives.
And yet, that is only a fraction of what this research institution has accomplished and continues to achieve on a daily basis. The organization is currently working on a huge variety of investigations on health problems affecting people living in poverty in developing countries. Its research includes evaluations of new vaccines and treatments for enteric and respiratory infections, new interventions for preventing and treating malnutrition, new approaches for detecting and containing emerging infectious diseases, new interventions to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality, and new approaches to achieving universal health coverage. As well, the institute continues to develop innovations to provide low cost solutions to resource poor settings.
“icddr,b has had a profound impact on health crises and breakthroughs worldwide,” said Hilton Foundation President and CEO Peter Laugharn. “As we seek solutions to bridge global divides, the world can learn a lot from icddr,b—not just about vaccines, but about scientifically-researched approaches to public health problems that work.”
icddr,b will receive $2 million in unrestricted funding, joining the list of 21 previous organizations that have received the Hilton Humanitarian Prize over the last two decades including most recently, The Task Force for Global Health, Landesa and Fountain House.
“We are honored to receive the 2017 Hilton Humanitarian Prize,” said John Clemens, MD, Executive Director of icddr,b. “The Prize will help support our current research efforts to move forward our in-house pipeline of new, low cost products and interventions addressing a wide range of public health problems in developing countries, including severe acute malnutrition and pneumonia in children, tuberculosis and life-threatening maternal hemorrhage during childbirth.”
icddr,b will be honored at this year’s international Hilton Humanitarian Symposium and Prize Ceremony, which will take place at The Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills on Wednesday, Oct. 11, 2017. The theme of this year’s symposium is The Future of Humanitarian Action: Bridging Our Divides. The daylong conference will bring together thought leaders and humanitarians from around the world with a focus on reaching across borders, cultures and sectors to navigate an evolving humanitarian landscape. Featured speakers include: Eric Garcetti, Mayor of Los Angeles; Lynsey Addario, award-winning photojournalist; Molly Melching, Founder of international NGO Tostan; Dr. Alaa Murabit, UN High-Level Commissioner and SDG Global Advocate; Shamil Idriss, President and CEO of Search for Common Ground; Raj Kumar, President and Editor-in-Chief of Devex; as well as Lara Setrakian, co-founder and CEO of News Deeply, a news platform centered on the most pressing issues of our time.
Each year, the Hilton Foundation reviews hundreds of nominations from notable nonprofits throughout the world, and an independent, international panel of distinguished jurors makes the final selection after a rigorous vetting process. Nominations for the 2018 Hilton Humanitarian Prize will be accepted from Sept. 20 – Oct. 18, 2017, and should be submitted through the Hilton Foundation website.
icddr,b is an international health research institute based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. The organization is committed to solving public health problems facing low- and middle-income countries through innovative scientific research – including laboratory-based, clinical, epidemiological and health systems research. By developing, testing and assessing the implementation of interventions specifically designed for resource-poor settings, the organization aims to improve the health and well-being of people living in the world’s poorest nations. For more than 50 years, icddr,b has been carrying out high-quality research and promoting the uptake of evidence-based interventions. Its initial focus was on diarrheal disease, but it now studies multiple infectious diseases, other threats to public health, and methods of healthcare delivery. The work of icddr,b has had a profound impact on health policy and practice both locally and globally – and this remains its key objective for the future. For more information, please visit www.icddrb.org.