R. Geigy Foundation-Award 2012,
Country: Switzerland / Germany, born: 1978
"Something that repeatedly fascinates me in PNG is my acceptance by the local people as a western scientist. The more you manage to put your own interests last, even under difficult conditions, in order to deal with the problems of the country and its people, the greater their acceptance and gratitude."
In Papua New Guinea, malaria research had neither attracted a lot of attention nor substantial funds for a long time. Only the new millennium brought malaria research in PNG to reality. A number of new instruments and technologies gave new hope of successfully controlling malaria. In 2004, the Global Fund supported mosquito net distribution to the entire population.
For four years, Manuel Hetzel evaluated the National Malaria Control Program under difficult social and epidemiological conditions. His efforts were rewarded. Mosquito net distribution to the people led to a 50% reduction of the infection rate from P. falciparum. Despite questions of how this achievement can be sustained in the future, the reduction of man-mosquito contact is a milestone in the history of malaria prevention in PNG.