Medical Innovation

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Recent winners of this award include:

Dr Ola Orekunrin, Nigeria, 2013 Dr. Ola Orekunrin uses her extensive medical background, studies and training to address Nigeria's challenge of providing adequate medical care to rural communities. To close this gap of service, Dr. Orekunrin founded Flying Doctors Nigeria, a completely physician-led organization that provides air ambulance services, training and consultancy to state governments and private organizations across Africa. The company is known for its quick response time of 20 to 30 minutes and 100% safety record. While delivering a necessary service, her organization also supports the economy by providing jobs for many medical and transport professionals.

Dr Quique Bassat Orellana, Spain, 2012 Growing up in Spain, Dr. Quique Bassat Orellana dreamed about a future in the medical field helping children in impoverished communities. At age 14, he decided he wanted to become a doctor and use his medical abilities to treat patients in Africa. He pursued his degree in medicine, with an emphasis in pediatrics and made trips to volunteer at hospitals and health centers in Tanzania and Mozambique.

During these trips, Dr. Bassat participated in a large-scale malaria vaccination for children as well as general healthcare and health education. He then finished a master’s degree in tropical medicine and international health, which led him to a full-time position at a health center in Mozambique to work as a pediatrician and clinical researcher. After four years in Africa, he moved back to Barcelona, Spain to advance his studies and continue his career.

His focus now lies with malaria and other infectious diseases that commonly affect children. A piece of Dr. Bassat’s dream and heart still resides with his patients in Mozambique, where he makes frequent trips to carry on his service. Dr. Bassat’s work has expanded to other countries including Papua New Guinea, Morocco, Brazil and India. He believes in spreading his knowledge and passion by mentoring many undergraduates and graduates throughout the countries where he works and researches. While helping those overseas, he is also very involved with local health organizations, fundraising and volunteer work in Spain. He believes that it is every human’s duty to use his or her talents for the greater good, making the world a better place to live for generations to come.