Announcing the Finalists of the Falcon Awards for Disease Elimination

27 September 2021 – In April 2021, GLIDE announced the Falcon Awards for Disease Elimination which aim to support actors in endemic countries to accelerate their disease elimination efforts through a one-year partnership with GLIDE and funding of up to US$200,000.

The call for abstracts opened on 4th May and closed for submissions on 20th June 2021. We were delighted to receive 220 abstracts across all of GLIDE’s disease foci from 44 endemic countries in the global south seeking support for their meaningful work in the disease elimination sphere.


After careful evaluation by our independent evaluators, GLIDE was able to shortlist 30 applicants to enter Round 2 of the Awards. These shortlisted candidates were invited to submit detailed proposals from which 10 finalists would be selected for evaluation by our esteemed jury.

We are pleased to announce the selection of the 10 finalists of the inaugural Falcon Awards for Disease Elimination!




Delineating the Distribution and Bionomics of the Invasive Malaria Vector, Anopheles Stephensi in Port Sudan City, East Sudan

Submitted by Meriam Adam on behalf of the World Health Organization Sudan Country Office, Sudan

Meriam is a technical officer with an established experience in public health with a focus on communicable diseases and malaria. Her work in malaria ranges from procurement and supply-chain management of drugs and health products to program management including vector control.

Rapid Detection of Wild Type-1 and Vaccine-Derived Poliovirus using Deep Sequencing During Polio Eradication Phase in Pakistan and Afghanistan

Submitted by Muhammad Salman Masroor on behalf of the National Institute of Health, Pakistan

Dr Muhammad Salman has been working in different capacities in the NIH since 1995. He is a fellow at the College of Physicians and Surgeon Pakistan in the discipline of Pathology with specialization in medical microbiology. During his experience, he has been participating in the implementation of number of projects related to infectious diseases, laboratory diagnosis and surveillance.

Improving Mass Drug Administration Campaign Effectiveness in India via Digital Intervention

Submitted by Swarnika Ahuja on behalf of the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), India

Swarnika is currently working with the Vector Borne Diseases team at CHAI to accelerate elimination efforts of two vector-borne diseases including Lymphatic Filariasis. She specializes in bringing digital transformation to programs by building tools that translate back to the real world to change lives for good. She has been working with the Ministry of Health, Government of India to support policy formation, programme management, and enhancing disease intelligence.

Sustaining Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination as a Public Health Problem in Yemen and Strengthening Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention 

Submitted by Abdul Samid Al-Kubati on behalf of the National Leprosy Elimination Program & Filariasis (NLEP), Yemen

Dr Al-Kubati is a physician with training in Dermatology and clinical tropical medicine. He has worked as the National Focal Point for Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) in Yemen and managed the LF program since 2000, leading up to the achievement of the elimination of LF as a public health problem in Yemen in 2019.

Optimizing Mass Drug Administration Expansion to Low Onchocerciasis Prevalence Settings

Submitted by Daniel Boakye on behalf of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, University of Ghana, Ghana

Daniel Boakye is a Professor with a PhD in Medical Entomology. He has over 40 years of experience and expertise in research collaborating with disease control programmes including NTDs at national and international levels on a wide range of vector-borne diseases and NTDs including onchocerciasis, malaria, lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, STH, Buruli ulcer and leishmaniasis.

Radical CURE for Malaria Among Highly Mobile and Hard-to-Reach Populations in the Guiana Shield – CUREMA

Submitted by Martha Suárez-Mutis on behalf of the Institute Oswaldo Cruz/Fiocruz, Brazil

Dr Suárez-Mutis has an MD MS and PhD in Tropical Medicine and has worked as an epidemiologist doctor in Indigenous areas of Colombia and Brazil. She is currently the head of the Laboratory of Parasitic Diseases and senior researcher of the Institute Oswaldo Cruz-IOC/Fiocruz.

Accelerating Onchocerciasis Elimination through Enhanced Mass Drug Administration and Community-Based Vector Control in Tanga, Tanzania

Submitted by Akili Kalinga on behalf of the National Institute for Medical Research, Tanzania

Dr Akili Kalinga is a Public Health senior research scientist who has extensively worked on parasitological and entomological research in Onchocerciasis and other NTDs. He has vast research experience of 15 years in the epidemiology and control of Onchocerciasis and is also a member of Tanzania Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee (TOEEAC).

Developing an Integrated and Enhanced Surveillance for Malaria and Lymphatic Filariasis for National Program Decision-Making to Accelerate their Elimination

Submitted by Fe Esperanza Espino on behalf of the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine, Philippines

Dr Espino is a Medical Specialist in Research Institute for Tropical Medicine of the Department of Health, Philippines. She is a pediatric infectious disease specialist by training and has a PhD in Tropical Health.  Dr Espino heads the Department of Parasitology and the National Reference Laboratory for Malaria and other Parasites.

Profiling Insecticide Resistance and Filarial Parasites in Anopheline and Culicine Populations to Guide Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in Zambia

Submitted by Javan Chanda on behalf of PATH, Zambia

Javan Chanda is the senior program officer in the Department of Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases for PATH in Zambia. He coordinates and manages all entomological surveillance activities and indoor residual spraying (IRS) in Zambia. He has more than 14 years of experience implementing vector control intervention and malaria entomological surveillance research programs.

The Last Mile: Community Engagement and Conditional Incentives to Accelerate Polio Eradication in Conflict-Affected & Insecure Areas of Pakistan

Submitted by Jai Das on behalf of the Aga Khan University, Pakistan

Dr Jai Das is an Assistant Professor for the Division of Women and Child Health and is the Section Head of the Section of Public Health and Epidemiology at the Aga Khan University, Karachi. His interests are related to the use of evidence in policy and programs, including estimates of burden of disease, estimating effectiveness of various interventions, development of research capacity and the strengthening of public health.


From these brilliant projects, GLIDE’s esteemed Falcon Awards jury will select five winners that will be awarded a 1-year partnership with GLIDE and up to US$200,000 to accelerate disease elimination in their local context. The five winners will be announced online in November 2021 and will work with GLIDE over the course of 2022 to achieve their programme goals.