HealthRight International honours Seth Berkley for leadership in global health

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Organisation, which takes human rights-based approach to delivering health care, recognises Gavi CEO at its annual Health & Human Rights Awards Dinner

Seth Berkley speaks to the guests of Health & Human Rights Awards Dinner

Seth Berkley speaks to the guests of Health & Human Rights Awards Dinner.
Credit:Gavi/2016/Jeff Weintraub.

New York, 22 September 2016 - HealthRight International, an organisation dedicated to delivering health care to marginalised communities around the world, has honoured Gavi CEO, Dr. Seth Berkley, for his career as a leader in global health.

The group’s annual Health & Human Rights Awards Dinner brought together human rights and public health professionals, leaders from civil society, media, politics and the business community.

In addition to honouring Dr. Berkley, HealthRight International also recognised the accomplishments of Dr. Eva Metalios. The Medical Director of the Bronx Human Rights Clinic & the Montefiore Medical Centre Residency Program in Primary Care and Social Internal Medicine, Dr. Metalios treats torture survivors and trains other doctors to perform forensic exams on those who have faced violent persecution.

Dr. Lyndon Haviland, a global public health expert and advocate who has worked for many years with Dr. Berkley, presented the award by citing how he has combined expertise and passion in his work. He “will jump into the deep end of any pool to make it possible for all of us to deliver on the value proposition: that every child, everywhere, every person in every country deserves a life of dignity and health,” she said.

Dr. Berkley accepted the award by pointing out that while Gavi and HealthRight are active in very different parts of the global health field, “we have the same values.” Both organisations, he noted. are focused on promoting equal access to health care for all.

“Fourteen percent of the world’s children are missing the most basic vaccines,” he said. “And 19% are missing them in the poorest countries. That fifth child is different from the others. That child… may be separated geographically or because they are living in urban slums. They may be separated because they are stigmatised for being part of a minority group. Or because they’ve been in a situation of torture, fragility, other problems.”

Bringing health care to these children, Dr. Berkley added, is at the heart of Gavi’s and HealthRight International’s work and “at the basis of what we call universal health coverage.”

HealthRight International employs a human rights-based approach to delivering health care on several continents around the world to children and adolescents, pastoralists, people in conflict with the law, people living with HIV, people who use drugs, women, and torture survivors. The group works closely with community partners to meet the needs of at-risk populations through capacity building, advocacy, research and service delivery.

Past recipients of HealthRight International’s annual awards include: Queen Silvia of Sweden; Mary Robinson; Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Kofi Annan; Richard Holbrooke; Hillary Clinton; Nicholas D. Kristof; George Soros; Glenn Close; Michael Stipe; Russell Simmons; Iman; Susan Sarandon; and David Remnick. Past corporate honourees include: Levi Strauss & Co., Gilead, GSK, Cline Davis & Mann and MAC Cosmetics.


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