For bold leadership in responding to the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa and for sustained and effective frontline responses to health emergencies.
The 2015 Lasker~Bloomberg Public Service Award honors Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) for bold leadership in responding to the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa and for sustained and effective frontline responses to health emergencies. Undeterred by grim and demanding circumstances, its employees and volunteers have worked steadily for decades to fulfill the organization’s mission. Last year, it undertook a monumental task —f ighting a deadly infectious disease that spreads readily — a duty that rightly belongs to the international community, not an outfit that is funded primarily by individual donors.
Since 1971, MSF has provided medical assistance and humanitarian aid to the world’s neediest citizens. The organization delivers drugs, healthcare, and other essential resources to people who suffer from crises of war, famine, natural disasters, and infectious disease. It reaches vast numbers of people in troubled areas, in part because it remains politically neutral.
Award presentation by Barbara Barrett
Acceptance remarks by Médecins Sans Frontières
Our work for Ebola patients in West Africa — recognized by this Lasker-Bloomberg Award — would not be possible without the selfless determination and dedication of our national staff from the affected countries.
Through countless acts of courage, more than 4000 men and women have cared for Ebola patients in West Africa. Alongside some 1300 international workers, they have fought day in and day out for 18 months, at great personal risk.
Fourteen of them tragically lost their lives. And it is in their cherished memory that I accept this award.
They and so many others needlessly perished. Our response, while generating many accolades, ultimately illustrates a broad failure.
Interview with Alfred Sommer and Darin Portnoy
Video Credit: Susan Hadary