Colombian scientist Manuel Elkin Patarroyo has been awarded the 2011 Prince of Viana Prize for Solidarity for his work in vaccine development, reported Caracol Radio Tuesday.
The award was handed to Patarroyo by the government of the Spanish region of Navarra for his 30 year search for cures to diseases such as malaria.
The awarding body took into account that his vaccines “reach those most in need at an affordable cost” and that he decided to donate the rights of the malaria vaccine to the World Health Organization for the benefit of mankind. It was also noted that Patarroyo’s work coincides with several of the Millennium Development Goals, in particular the fight against AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis and for child and maternal health.
The award, created in 2001, recognizes the work of institutions and people from any country who excel in their careers and work to further the development of underprivileged peoples and groups.
As part of the prize the scientist was given €40,000 ($57,000).
The awarding body also highlighted Patarroyo’s efforts towards strengthening democracy in Colombia through a strategy of linking political, economic and social development.