Friday

Dr Mutegi Wins World Food Prize


Kenyan Research scientist Dr. Charity Kawira Mutegi, 38, (photo) is the recipient of the 2013 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application, endowed by the Rockefeller Foundation. Dr Mutegi made major breakthroughs in combating the deadly aflatoxin mold contamination that occurs in stored grain, which has been a serious problem in Africa and around the world for decades.
Dr Mutegi currently serves as the Kenya Country Coordinator for the Aflasafe Project for the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA), on assignment from the Kenya Agricultural Research Institute (KARI),

The World Food Prize is the foremost international award recognizing the achievements of individuals who have advanced human development by improving the quality, quantity, or availability of food in the world. The Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application recognizes an individual under the age of 40 who emulates the scientific innovation and dedication to food security demonstrated by Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Dr. Norman Borlaug.
Aflatoxin, a naturally occurring mold, is a major concern for farmers and consumers worldwide; it is toxic to people who consume it either directly through contaminated grain, or through milk or meat if livestock have been fed contaminated grain. It is one of the most carcinogenic substances known.
Dr. Mutegi spearheaded efforts to identify the cause of, and solution to, a deadly outbreak of aflatoxicosis in 2004-05, fatal to 125 people in eastern Kenya who consumed contaminated grain.
Her diligent research led to innovative solutions to avert future outbreaks and safeguard the region’s staple crop of maize. Dr. Mutegi is leading efforts for the development of a biocontrol product in Kenya that can be used to significantly reduce aflatoxin levels in maize.

Tuesday

African Activists, Doctors, Health Systems Experts, Entrepreneurs Named As New Voices For Global Development

The Aspen Institute has announced the first 12-member class of the New Voices Fellowship, a groundbreaking new program designed to amplify expert voices from the developing world in the global development discussion. The 2013-2014 fellows come from 10 countries in Africa: Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Nigeria, Somalia and Tanzania.
They include the founder of an organization which promotes African-focused children’s literature; a Somali civil war refugee turned youth leader; a primary care expert from Ethiopia; a Cameroonian activist campaigning for women’s rights;  a Malawian health systems expert helping to implement Swaziland’s universal HIV treatment program; the Ghanaian CEO of a technology company addressing social issues in West Africa; a physician working on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in Tanzania; a nonprofit leader from Mali spearheading efforts to boost small-scale farmer income; two activists from Nairobi’s Kibera and Korogocho slums; a doctor and helicopter pilot from Nigeria; and an expert from the Democratic Republic of Congo on health care in Africa’s most remote regions.
These Fellows will undertake a program of intensive media training and mentorship to help them reach a broader global audience through both traditional and new media and speaking engagements.
“All too frequently, the most powerful leaders and practitioners in the developing world do not have access to global communications platforms to tell their stories in their own words,” said Peggy Clark, executive director of Aspen Global Health and Development, and also vice president of policy programs at the Aspen Institute.
“The New Voices Fellows will give us insights into the most critical programs, solutions and innovations based on their own experiences and research.”
Supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the New Voices Fellowship was established in 2013 to bring the essential perspectives of committed development champions from Africa and other parts of the developing world into the global development debate.
The 2013-2014 New Voices Fellows are:

Five appointed to Stop TB Partnership Board

The Stop TB Partnership has appointed five new Coordinating Board members who will act as constituency representatives.
 
The appointments follow Coordinating Board reforms that are designed to broaden the base of partners represented on the Board and encourage the development of strong, active constituencies.
 
Two of the new board members will represent communities affected by tuberculosis (TB). The three other board members will represent the private sector, developing country nongovernmental organization (NGO) and developed country NGO constituencies.
 
Following a call for nominations in April, an independent committee selected the new board members based on their skills, experience and ability to lead and develop their constituencies.
 
The constituency representatives will begin their three-year term as board members at the next Coordinating Board Meeting in Ottawa, Canada, on 11-12 July.
 
The new board members will be joined in Ottawa by four new country representatives who are currently being recruited to sit alongside the Ministers of Health of South Africa and Swaziland on the Board.
 
The five new constituency representatives are:
 
Private Sector: Dr Evan Lee, Vice-President, Global Health Programs and Access, Eli Lilly
 
An internal medicine physician by training, Dr Lee oversees Eli Lilly’s global health programmes, including its multidrug-resistant tuberculosis (MDR-TB) and non-communicable diseases (NCD) initiatives, as well as efforts related to access to medicines.
 
Developed Country NGO: Mr Aaron Oxley, Executive Director, RESULTS UK
 
Aaron leads RESULTS UK’s work in developing UK and international campaigns to tackle major diseases of poverty, increase access to education and expand economic opportunities for the poorest people in the world.
 
Developing Country NGO: Mr Austin Obiefuna, Executive Director, Afro Global Alliance (AGA)
 
Mr Obiefuna has worked in TB prevention and care for more than 14 years. AGA belongs to strong national and international networks of civil society organizations and established the Ghana Stop TB Partnership.
 
Communities: Mrs Thokozile Beatrex Nkhoma, SAVE Campaign Coordinator, Malawi Interfaith AIDS Association
 
Mrs Nkhoma joined the Stop TB Partnership Working Group on New TB Diagnostics in 2010 as a community representative. She is also a member of the community support team of the communities’ delegation to the UNITAID Board and serves as a member of the communities’ delegation to the Global Fund Board with a particular focus on TB.