Berlin, February 20, 2019. This year, the Memento Prize is awarded to Prof. Jürgen May of the Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine (BNITM). The 5000-euro prize was awarded in recognition of May's research on serious infectious diseases in children in Sub-Saharan Africa. Many infectious diseases in areas of Sub-Saharan Africa are caused by pathogens, which are not detected due to a lack of diagnostics and therefore not treated, even though the corresponding medications would be available. May's working group in Hamburg and Kumasi (Ghana) was able to identify the causes of the infectious diseases in various hospitals in the Ashanti region. “Serious infectious diseases often have multiple triggers. People then suffer from a variety of diseases. These coinfections, which are caused by parasites, bacteria or viruses and often count as neglected tropical diseases, worsen the course of the disease,” explains May.
“We congratulate Prof. Jürgen May on winning the Memento Prize 2019,” says Prof. Achim Hörauf, Spokesperson of the Board of the German Network against Neglected Tropical Diseases (DNTDs). “With his work and his tremendous dedication, Professor May has made a considerable contribution to the fight against neglected tropical diseases. “
Prof. Jürgen May is now the third scientific board member of the DNTDs to have been awarded the Memento Prize. In 2017, the prize went to Dr Carsten Köhler, Director of the Competence Center for Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen, for demonstrating the efficacy of a simplified artemisinin therapy in children with severe malaria and in 2015, to Prof. Achim Hörauf of the University Hospital Bonn for developing a therapy to combat parasitic roundworms (lymphatic filariasis).