On 21 November 2019, the Prince Mahidol Award Foundation under the Royal Patronage (PMAF) held a joint press conference at Siriraj Hospital, Bangkok, to announce the 28th Prince Mahidol Laureates for 2019 in the field of Medicine and Public Health. At the said press conference, Ms. Busadee Santipitaks, Director-General of the Department of Information, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Thailand, in her capacity as the Chair of the PMAF Public Relations Sub-Committee, together with Professor Dr. Prasith Wattanapa, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Siriraj Hospital, Mahidol University, in the capacity of Vice President of the PMAF, Professor Supat Vanichyakarn, Secretary-General of the PMAF, Professor Vicharn Panich, Chair of the International Awards Committee, H.E. Mr. Georg Schmidt Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany to Thailand, and H.E. Mr. Brian John Davidson, Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Thailand, were also present.
This year, the Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Medicine is awarded to Professor Dr. Ralf F.W. Bartenschlager from the Federal Republic of Germany.
Professor Dr. Ralf F.W. Bartenschlager’s prominent work on the life cycle of hepatitis C virus (HCV) provided basis for the development of effective, safe, and specific antivirals, called the DAA (Direct Acting Antiviral), with a 95% success rate and minimal side effects, leading to the discovery of a cure for hepatitis C, and consequently saved millions of lives worldwide.
The Prince Mahidol Award in the field of Public Health is awarded to Professor David Mabey from the United Kingdom.
Professor Mabey has studied trachoma, the most common eye infection leading to blindness worldwide, for more than 30 years. Trachoma is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis which is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of about 1.9 million people globally every year. Infection spreads through personal contact and by flies that have been in contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person, particularly in developing countries with inadequate hygiene, crowded households, and inadequate access to water and sanitation. The continuous and relentless efforts of Professor David Mabey to control and eliminate trachoma blindness has improved the livelihood of millions of people throughout the world.
His Majesty King Maha Vajiralongkorn Phra Vajiraklaochaoyuhua has appointed Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to preside over the Presentation Ceremony of the Prince Mahidol Award 2019, on 30 January 2020 at Chakri Maha Prasat Throne Hall, Bangkok.