Peace Corps Nominated for Global Health Leadership Award

March 24, 2003

WASHINGTON, D.C., March 24, 2003 – The International Association for Volunteer Effort has nominated the Peace Corps for this year’s Gates Award for Global Health Leadership. The award recognizes an organization that has made a major and lasting contribution to the field of global health.

The Gates Award for Global Health was established in 2000 by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The recipient of the award will receive $1 million to be put toward the organization’s continued commitment to global health. The Seattle-based foundation is dedicated to improving people’s lives by sharing advances in health and learning with the global community.

Past recipients of the award include the Rotary Foundation of Rotary International and the Centre for Health and Population Research, based in Dhaka, Bangladesh. For a current list of nominees, please visit www.globalhealth.org. The award will be presented on May 29, 2003, in Washington, D.C., at an award ceremony during the Global Health Council’s Annual International Conference.

Currently, 21 percent of all Peace Corps volunteers are serving in health-related assignments in 70 countries around the world. They are catalysts in their communities, working on a variety of health activities. These include: educating and training in the areas of maternal and child health, basic nutrition, sanitation, oral rehydration therapy, and STDs/AIDS; organizing fundraisers and community groups to obtain needed health care materials; constructing wells, tapping springs, building latrines, and improving potable water storage facilities; and training local leaders to maintain water and sanitation systems and continue health programs after the Volunteer departs.

Since 1961, more than 168,000 Volunteers, have served in the Peace Corps working in such diverse fields as education, health, HIV/AIDS education and awareness, information technology, business development, the environment, and agriculture. Peace Corps Volunteers must be U.S. citizens and at least 18 years of age. Peace Corps service is a two-year commitment.

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