Ms. Margarida Matsinhe (left) has worked in vaccine delivery in Mozambique for more than 30 years.
Sixty-four-year-old Margarida Matsinhe has won the 2013 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award for her “instrumental” work in overhauling the vaccine system in her native Mozambique.
Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement on Wednesday in his annual letter. The award recognizes “revolutionary ways” for immunizing the world’s poorest children. Nominees are assessed on innovation and creativity, impact and scale.
Matsinhe, a field officer with the non-profit Village Reach, has worked in vaccine delivery in Mozambique for more than 30 years, including during the country’s civil war and post-war reconstruction period. She currently serves on the government’s Committee of Experts on Immunisation and advises leaders on vaccine quality and distribution strategies.
Partly as a result of her work, Mozambique has achieved vaccine coverage of 95 percent, but Matsinhe says her goal is no less than 100 percent.