Established in the early 1960s as the Southeast Asia Treaty Organisation's Cholera Research Laboratory (CRL), icddr,b has for more than fifty years been at the forefront of innovative, low-cost health solutions that have saved millions of lives. In its early years, CRL played a key role in the development, testing, and implementation of oral rehydration solution (ORS) as a scalable intervention to treat the symptoms of diarrheal disease connected to cholera, and in 1962 it opened Dhaka Hospital. Renamed the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh in 1978, the organization today operates the world's largest diarrheal hospital, treating more than two hundred patients a year, and is conducting research on a variety of health issues affecting people living in poverty in developing countries, including evaluations of new vaccines and treatments for enteric and respiratory infections, interventions for preventing and treating malnutrition, strategies for detecting and containing emerging infectious diseases, and interventions to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality.
"icddr,b has had a profound impact on health crises and breakthroughs worldwide," said Hilton Foundation president and CEO Peter Laugharn. "As we seek solutions to bridge global divides, the world can learn a lot from icddr,b — not just about vaccines, but about scientifically researched approaches to public health problems that work."
"We are honored to receive the 2017 Hilton Humanitarian Prize," said icddr,b executive director John Clemens. "The prize will help support our current research efforts to move forward our in-house pipeline of new, low-cost products and interventions addressing a wide range of public health problems in developing countries, including severe acute malnutrition and pneumonia in children, tuberculosis, and life-threatening maternal hemorrhage during childbirth."
(Photo credit: ©GMB Akash/icddr,b)