Accordia Global Health Foundation Announces Malawian Malaria Specialist as 2012 Merle Sande Award Recipient

Apr 25, 2012, 05:00 ET from Accordia Global Health Foundation

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Accordia Global Health Foundation is pleased to announce its 2012 Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award recipient: Dr. Kamija Phiri, Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Research at the University of Malawi College of Medicine.

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The award – created in memory of Accordia's co-founder and renowned infectious disease specialist, Dr. Merle Sande – recognizes the efforts of emerging African leaders who have contributed significant improvements to the health of their home communities and embody Dr. Sande's passion, intellectual drive, and spirit.

Dr. Phiri is honored for his outstanding work investigating new strategies to prevent malaria and severe anemia, one of malaria's most common and devastating complications in children. Despite the many control measures over the decades, malaria continues to be the leading cause of death for children under the age of five in sub-Saharan Africa.

Dr. Kamija Phiri, a clinical epidemiologist by training, was among the first group of Malawi-trained doctors to complete a doctorate of medicine in-country. As the Dean of Postgraduate Studies and Research at the University of Malawi College of Medicine, Dr. Phiri harnesses his passion to ensure that sustainable research capacity is being built and locally-relevant malaria prevention strategies are developed. As an associate professor and honorary lecturer from the University of Liverpool, Dr. Phiri teaches undergraduate and postgraduate clinical epidemiology and mentors young researchers in his program.

On hearing the news of the award, Dr. Phiri remarked, "This award is an incredible honor, not only to my parents, teachers, and colleagues, but to my country." His family – wife Lorraine and daughter Mandipa – remains his strongest pillar of strength and encouragement.

Dr. Phiri delivered a keynote address entitled, "The Hidden Danger for Children Recovering from Severe Malaria," on April 19, in Kampala, Uganda.

The Merle A. Sande Health Leadership Award recipient is selected by a committee comprised of members of Accordia's Academic Alliance, the Infectious Diseases Institute, and the broader African academic medical community, and is based upon criteria established by the committee.

For more information about the award and Dr. Phiri, visit

Accordia Global Health Foundation is transforming the African health landscape by building the region's capacity to address its most pressing health concerns through innovative training, research, care, and prevention models. For more information, please visit

Contact: Julia Andrus

SOURCE Accordia Global Health Foundation