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Acclaimed American Journalist Awarded Excellence In Journalism by American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene

Thursday, November 19, 2009 General News J E 4
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WASHINGTON, Nov. 18 The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH) today honored TIME Magazine Foreign Correspondent Vivienne Walt with its Communications Award during the opening ceremony of its 58th annual meeting.

"Ms. Walt's work has unveiled the need for measures to help prevent and control infectious tropical diseases to improve healthcare around the world," said Thomas Wellems, MD, Ph.D., president of ASTMH. "Her article 'Death in Birth' is an exemplary piece of journalism that encapsulates the suffering around the world, and demonstrates how it disproportionately affects the global poor."

In her September 18, 2008, TIME Magazine article entitled "Death in Birth," Walt explores the exorbitant number of deaths of both mothers and children that occur during childbirth across the globe. Walt's article sheds light on the fact that there have been advances in preventing maternal deaths, yet these advances have not had an impact on many poor countries due to a "multitude of problems: scattershot care, low pay for health workers and a scarcity of midwives and doctors."

"I'm honored to be given this award by such a prestigious group of medical professionals. It's especially welcome at a time when media is under such pressure to cut their budgets and go for cheap, desk-bound stories over complex field reporting," said Vivienne Walt. "When we get on the road and write about the devastation we witness we get a lot closer to finding solutions for those who suffer."

The ASTMH Communications Award is bestowed upon one journalist each year. Honorees are selected by a panel of tropical medicine experts from within the society. Recipients receive a $2000 award, which Walt will be donating to the daughter of Fatmata Conteh, whom she tragically watched pass away in Sierra Leone hours after giving birth.

About Vivienne Walt

Vivienne Walt has written for TIME Magazine since 2003. Her assignments have included Iraq, Iran, the Niger Delta, Democratic Republic of Congo, Libya, Sudan and numerous other countries. Walt was previously a staff writer for Newsday. Her work has been published in The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine, The Los Angeles Times Magazine and elsewhere. She is currently based in Paris, where she lives with her husband and their son.

About the ASTMH

The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH), founded in 1903, is a worldwide organization of scientists, clinicians and program professionals whose mission is to promote global health through the prevention and control of infectious and other diseases that disproportionately afflict the global poor.

SOURCE The American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
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