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Kenyan health charity wins Spanish
award for international cooperation

MADRID Spain (Xinhua) -- Charity organization Amref Health Africa was named as the winner of the 2018 Princess of Asturias Award for International Cooperation on Wednesday.

Amref Health Africa is a non-profit organization founded in Kenya in 1957 by doctors Michael Wood, Tom Rees and Archibald McIndoe, seeking to provide “quality surgical care to the most remote and neglected populations in East Africa.”

In making their decision, the jury valued the “sustained efforts” which made it possible to reach the most vulnerable and remotest populations that otherwise would not have regular access to health services.”

The jury also mentioned the “distance training programs using mobile devices” run by the organization to “strengthen local capacities in the fight against AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria.”

It noted the organization’s efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation via social and cultural awareness-raising actions.

Amref has 19 regional offices in other countries and carries out its work in 30 different African nations.

It is estimated that in 60 years of existence the organization’s doctors have treated around 110 million people, while training 12 million health workers and in 2018 it opened its first university “focused on the field of health.”

The Princess of Asturias Awards, now in their 38th year, aims to “contribute to extolling and promoting those scientific, cultural and humanistic values that form part of the universal heritage of humanity.”

Prize winners earn a 50,000 euros (59,325 U.S. dollars) cash prize and a special statue created by artist Joan Miro.

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