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May 29, 2009

Zimbabwean Physician Douglas Gwatidzo Receives Jonathan Mann Award

Dr. Douglas Gwatidzo of the Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) is the recipient of the 2009 Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights. The award is bestowed annually by the Association François-Xavier Bagnoud, Doctors of the World, John Snow, Inc., and the Global Health Council to a leading practitioner in health and human rights. Dr. Chris Beyrer, director of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Public Health and Human Rights collaborated with Gwatidzo and ZADHR on the recent report Health in Ruins: A Man-Made Disaster in Zimbabwe.

“I would like to congratulate Douglas Gwatidzo for this well deserved honor. The Jonathan Mann Award is the arguably the most important prize in health and human rights and honors the civil courage that it takes for physicians to document the abuse and address the complex human rights and health care issues facing people in dictatorships,” said Beyrer. “It is important that this prize continue to honor the public health professionals who are on the ground making a difference, and my hope is that winning this award will highlight the importance of Gwatidzo’s message in his home community.”

The Jonathan Mann Award for Global Health and Human Rights was established in 1999 to honor Dr. Jonathan Mann who was killed in a plane crash along with his wife and School of Public Health professor Dr. Mary Lou Clements-Mann. Mann brought public attention to the fact that prejudice and discrimination help drive the AIDS epidemic, and that discrimination against those at risk of infection fuels the epidemic further.