Stephen Magesa awarded Tanzania’s National Best Health Scientist Award, National Health Innovation Award

DAR ES SALAAM, TANZANIA — Stephen Magesa, Ph.D., director of vector control operations at RTI International's U.S. Agency for International Development-funded Tanzania Vector Control Scale-Up Project, was awarded Tanzania's National Best Health Scientist Award and National Health Innovation Award for his dedication to preventing and controlling malaria and other vector-borne diseases in Tanzania.

Magesa received the awards from Tanzania Vice President Mohamed Gharib Bilal, Ph.D. at the 28th Annual Joint Scientific Conference organized by Tanzania's National Institute for Medical Research. The awards are two of Tanzania's highest scientific honors designed to encourage and recognize health researchers, and promote health research in Tanzania.

"This is a tremendous honor and recognition of Stephen's tireless dedication and efforts to control malaria and other vector-borne diseases, and further operational research and science on these diseases in Tanzania and globally," said Richard Reithinger, vice president of the Global Health division for the International Development Group at RTI. "We are pleased to make this announcement on World Malaria Day – it is testament of the cutting-edge work that our staff members are involved in and the collaborative partnerships that we enjoy with host governments and other in-country stakeholders. Together with the global malaria community we express our continued commitment to defeat malaria globally."

Malaria is a health risk for more than half the world's population, particularly in Africa where a child dies from malaria every minute. However, scale-up efforts to control and eliminate malaria have led to significant progress in reducing malaria transmission and fatalities.

The Tanzania's National Best Health Scientist Award and National Health Innovation Award recognize Magesa's commitment to the control of malaria through indoor residual spraying operations in Tanzania.

The Tanzania National Institute for Medical Research selected the National Best Health Scientist Award winner by evaluating the top three scientists chosen in an online poll, consisting of 21 candidates, in which academics, researchers and the public voted for the best scientist. The online poll was complemented by a separate ballot cast by members of the award committee composed of Tanzania's leading health research scientists.

Magesa is an expert in malaria vector control with more than 27 years of experience in malaria research, prevention and control programs in Africa, including Tanzania, Rwanda and Kenya. From 2010 to 2013, Magesa successfully managed as RTI's chief of party indoor residual spraying operations supported by the U.S. President's Malaria Initiative in Rwanda and Kenya.

Prior to RTI, he served as the center director for the National Institute for Medical Research, Amani Medical Research Center, a leading malaria research center in Africa. He oversaw the center's Africa-wide entomological and parasitological research, and fieldwork related to vector control technologies, vector ecology and insecticide resistance. He previously served as a member of the World Health Organization Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) working group, and he is currently an alternate member of the Technical Review Panel of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria.

In Tanzania, RTI collaborates with the national malaria control program to establish, scale-up and maintain comprehensive malaria vector control operations, including indoor residual spraying of households with insecticide and distribution of insecticide-treated bed nets, as well as strengthening disease surveillance systems to better monitor malaria morbidity and mortality and respond to malaria outbreaks in a more timely fashion.

Magesa holds a doctorate degree in epidemiology from the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, a master of science degree in medical parasitology from the University of London, and a bachelor of science degree in zoology/ecology from the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. He also earned an MBA from a joint program between Maastricht School of Management and the East and Southern African Management Institute in the Netherlands and Tanzania, respectively.

 

Highlights

  • Stephen Magesa, Ph.D., was awarded Tanzania’s National Best Health Scientist Award and National Health Innovation Award
  • He received the honor for his dedication to preventing and controlling malaria and other vector-borne diseases in Tanzania
  • The awards are two of Tanzania’s highest scientific honors designed to encourage and recognize health researchers, and promote health research in Tanzania