Carlos Slim presented the 2018 Health Awards
The annual Health event of the Carlos Slim Foundation (FCS) was held in the Soumaya Museum, presenting the progress and most important achievements of the Foundation’s programs in this area. The 2018 Health Awards were also presented, by the Federal Secretary of Health, Doctor José Narro Robles, by Carlos Slim Helú and by Marco Antonio Slim Domit.
Marco Antonio Slim presented the 2018 Health Report, showing the role currently played by Digital Health, permitting services to be provided permanently through timely detection, precise diagnosis, effective quality care, and personalized follow up, which creates an extraordinary opportunity for the transformation of healthcare.
Carlos Slim Foundation contributes to this transformation with several state-of-the-art models and developments that have made important achievements possible that translate into benefits for millions of people, especially the most vulnerable groups, with programs in relevant topics such as: vaccination, by the end of this year 2.5 million children will have the Electronic Vaccination Card (CEV); maternal and perinatal health care (AMANECE), with actions in the 110 poorest municipalities in the country; chronic illnesses, with more than one million people with MIDO (Medición Integrada para la Detección Oportuna or Comprehensive Measurement for Timely Detection in English); transplants, with 9,438 people assisted in receiving a transplant; addictions, with the development of the new Computer System of the National Transplants Registry which will foster equity and transparency in the process of donation and assignment of organs; health education, with the Aprende.org platform; formation of human capital, with 6,908 scholarships granted for bachelor and graduate degrees in health; and large-scale projects due to their importance, like the Slim Initiative in Genomic Medicine; and others with global scope, such as the elimination of malaria, river blindness, and eradication of polio; among many others. See 2018 Health Report at fundacioncarlosslim.org/informe-salud
To speak specifically of the achievements in genomics, Doctor Eric Lander, director and founder of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, was present. He has been a leader and an essential player in the development of the Slim Initiative in Genomics Medicine (SIGMA for its acronym in English), in which several national institutions also participate. He explained that since 2010, the year the initiative began, it has been possible to identify the genetic causes of diseases that particularly affect the people of Mexico and Latin America, including type 2 diabetes mellitus and cancer, and it is hoped that, thanks to the research done in the framework of SIGMA, in the near future innovative tools will be available to people for diagnosis and treatment with genomic technology of these and other illnesses.
Doctor Roberto Tapia Conyer, General Director of the Carlos Slim Foundation initiated the ceremony to present the 2018 Health Awards, mentioning that for eleven years the Foundation has recognized the excellence of the work of professionals and organizations that share a firm commitment to achieving, with their work, equity in health care for Latin Americans. The awards consist of recognition and $100,000 dollars for each one in two categories: Exceptional Institution and Research Career.
On this occasion, the Liga Contra el Cancer, from Peru, was the winner of the Exceptional Institution award; it has worked to prevent cancer in that country for 65 years, obtaining great achievements thanks to its intervention strategies which are divided by type of cancer. The League has reached more than two million people in Peru, through its different programs. Norma Rodríguez Fernández, Academic Secretary of the Universidad Peruana Cayetano Heredia, presented the Liga Contra el Cáncer and explained its achievements particularly among the poor.
The 2018 Research Career award was granted to Dr. María Elena Bottazzi, of Honduran nationality, a recognized scientist and researcher who has concentrated in the field of microbiology, particularly in the development of vaccines; and she is a persistent fighter in the struggle against the neglected diseases that still affect Latin America. Dr. Botazzi was introduced by Doctor Peter Hotez, Dean of the School of Tropical Medicine of Baylor College of Medicine.
The event concluded with a message from the Secretary of Health, Doctor José Narro, who emphasized the importance of the alliance between his agency and the Foundation, which has allowed the implementation of innovative models and developments to effectively confront the most urgent Public Health problems throughout the country.
He also mentioned the “México United” initiative of FCS, which has brought significant attention to the damages caused to the health infrastructure by the September earthquakes last year.
Special guests of the award winners attended the event, as well as former Secretaries of Health and representatives of international organizations such as UNICEF, the Inter-American Development Bank and the Carter Center, in addition to other prominent figures of the academic and healthcare world.