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Geneva, 31 January 2017: The 140th Meeting of the Executive Board of the World Health Organization (WHO) unanimously awarded the Dr. LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health to the Henry Reeve International Contingent of Doctors Specialized in Disasters and Serious Epidemics.

The “Henry Reeve” Contingent was established on September 19, 2005 in Havana by the Cuban Revolutionary Leader, Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, with the aim of cooperating immediately with its specially trained personnel with any country suffering a disaster, hurricanes, floods or other natural phenomena, as well as epidemics that are true natural and social disasters.

Since then, 7 thousand 254 Cuban medical collaborators, in 22 medical brigades have provided aid in 19 nations (twice in Haiti and Chile) from all latitudes. These Cuban public health workers, trained and skilled for these missions, have provided care to more than 3.5 million people, saving the lives of 80 thousand people according to rigorous estimates.

This Prize recognizes of the solidarity of the Greater of the Antilles, which, following the humanist and universal vision of the leader of the Cuban Revolution, has made available to many nations the medical quality of its doctors, through the solidarity work of the Henry Reeve Contingent. It also recognizes the altruistic and selflessly work of the more than 250 Cuban health workers who faced in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea between 2014 and 2015 the dangerous outbreak of the Ebola virus that affected those countries of the African continent.

The Dr LEE Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health was established in 2008 by the WHO. It is awarded to one or more persons, one or more institutions, or one or more non-governmental organizations that have made a significant contribution in the field of public health. The purpose of the Prize is to reward a work of far more scope than the strict fulfillment of normal obligations.

The award ceremony will take place during the 70th World Health Assembly to be held on May 22 to 31 this year in Geneva.