In 2020, the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation in Thailand awarded the Prince Mahidol Award to DNDi’s Founder and Executive Director, Dr Bernard Pécoul, in recognition of his lifelong work in public health and his contribution in furthering research for neglected diseases.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the awards ceremony was postponed. Finally on 27 January 2022, Dr Bernard Pécoul attended the official awards presentation ceremony at the Chakri Throne Hall, Grand Palace, Thailand, in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn.
Joining Dr Pécoul were four other laureates receiving the Prince Mahidol Award prize in the field of medicine for the year 2020 and 2021: Prof. Dr Valentin Fuster, Prof. Pieter R. Cullis, Assoc. Prof. Katalin Kariko, and Prof. Drew Weissman.
Dr Pécoul has generously donated his Prince Mahidol Award prize money to DNDi.
‘DNDi brings the best science to the most neglected. We research and develop safe, effective, and affordable treatments for diseases affecting many of the world’s neglected communities. We don’t do it for profit. We do it because we believe all patients have the right to the best that science has to offer, no matter where they live,’ Dr Pécoul explains.
The Prince Mahidol Award holds a special significance for Dr Pécoul since he began his career in Thailand 35 years ago, where he carried out field missions working in refugee camps for Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) in Africa, Latin America, and Asia. It was there that he witnessed first-hand the medical neglect that eventually led him and many partners to create DNDi.
As part of his visit to Thailand, Dr Pécoul also attended several events to build local partnerships and share his expertise. Notably, DNDi and the prestigious Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, Thailand signed a Memorandum of Understanding to launch a new global collaboration that aims to develop a safe, affordable, and effective treatment for dengue. Dengue, a climate-sensitive neglected tropical disease, is one of the top ten threats to global public health worldwide.
The visit finished on an eye-catching note as the Navamindrapobitr 84th Anniversary Building at Siriraj Hospital joined lit up in purple and orange in recognition of World Neglected Tropical Diseases Day, which is marked on 30 January each year.
Event & presentation videos
- Prince Mahidol Award ceremony
- Prince Mahidol Award special laureates academic session – ‘From Medical Innovation to Access to Treatment for all: How endemic countries can lead efforts to ensure access for patients in the Global South’
- Prince Mahidol Award honourary lecture – ‘Modern medicine: a triumph of science, but a defeat for access?’
- DNDi South-East Asia Strategic Plan launch webinar – ‘South-South leadership: working together on medical R&D to meet the needs of all patients, the example of dengue’