Dr.Adetokunbo Olumide Lucas, a Nigerian, and Dr.Tore Godal, a Norwegian , jointly won the Award for their contribution toward the development of the special Program on Tropical Disease Research (TDR) into a world acclaimed, highly productive and effective research in the tropical diseases, namely Malaria, Schistosomiasis, The filariases, Leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, African trypanosomiasis, and leprosy. Thease are diseases which involve million of people in tropical Africa, Asia, and South America. The advance in research has been in several fronts including strengthening research capacity in developing countries so that scientists in those countries could become meaningful partners with scientists in industrialized countries in the quest for the prevention and control of those tropical diseases.
Their support of strategic research on the target diseases has made research on tropical diseases a credible research endeavor, as important and far reaching as pioneering reseach in cancer. heart disease, etc. Research and deveopment which leads to specific tools such as vaccines and drugs, features strongly in the program. The special Program in recent years has made a point of making industry an active partner in the development of new drugs and vaccines. Both Drs.Lucas and Godal have shown innovation in their successive and highly successful management to the TDR program which even though it has been operated under the umbrella of WHO, is suported by extrabudgetary funding. The management of TDR which interphases between WHO, donor agencies, scientists and program in both developing and developed countries and industries, is a good example of how health research program could be successflly managed.