Dr. Monique Wasunna, DNDi Africa Regional Director awarded the rank of Officer of the prestigious French National Order of Merit (Ordre national du Mérite) by the French government.

She received the award yesterday evening at the French embassy in Nairobi, Kenya and is the only recipient of the award from the Eastern Africa region in this cohort.

The award was given in recognition of her exemplary contribution to research and development work in neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), advocating for, and delivering better treatments for neglected patients in Africa.

Dr Wasunna has been working with neglected patients for over 30 years. She has been a principal investigator in clinical trials to find better treatment options for neglected patients. She has spearheaded the building and strengthening of regional partnerships in research and development for NTDs in Eastern Africa to expand clinical trial capacities in the region. Her research interests primarily focus on visceral leishmaniasis, mycetoma, malaria, and HIV.

Her work within DNDi Africa office has impacted the research and development (R&D) ecosystem in Africa for neglected diseases. She has led networking efforts with scientists working in NTDs through R&D platforms such as the Leishmaniasis East Africa Platform where young scientists and institutions have benefitted from trainings and mentorship opportunities. She has also participated in efforts to ensure that patients have access to treatments for NTDs through close collaboration with National Ministries of health in the continent.