Virchow Prize for Global Health: Virchow Foundation and Software AG – Foundation begin new collaboration

Thinking globally about health and promoting medical innovations in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations 2030 Agenda – this is the aim of the Virchow Prize for Global Health, awarded annually by the non-profit Virchow Foundation for Global Health. It also forms the basis for the cooperation with the Software AG – Foundation (SAGST), which supports such approaches in teaching and research that not only regards health as the absence of disease, but also upholds the World Health Organization's (WHO) definition as a state of comprehensive physical, mental and spiritual well-being. Against this background, the Darmstadt-based SAGST foundation has for many years advocated a holistic approach to healthcare that focuses on the individual and the patient.

"The current challenges in this area require global networking and an interdisciplinary approach," SAGST Managing Director, Dr Johannes Stellmann states. "That is why we are very pleased about the new cooperation with the Virchow Foundation for Global Health. We can only achieve the goal of sustainable and healthy development for all if we exchange ideas internationally, act in solidarity and promote diversity. This is where the Virchow Prize provides valuable support."

In line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda, the Virchow Prize aims to raise and promote public awareness of global health issues. A holistic view of health and the inclusion of cultural diversity is a prerequisite for success. “Health is more than medicine,” says Professor Detlev Ganten, Co-Founder of the Virchow Foundation, former CEO of the Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Founding President of the World Health Summit. “It is the compass for all 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and always has a political, economic and social dimension.”  

The 2023 Laureate Rose Gana Fomban Leke is honoured for her life's work, which includes groundbreaking pioneering and research work on infectious diseases, such as malaria and polio, and tireless efforts to promote equality and social participation for girls and women on the African continent and beyond.

The High Patron of the 2023 Virchow Prize for Global Health is President of the German Bundestag, Bärbel Bas. The award ceremony honouring Professor Leke will take place on October 14 in Berlin City Hall (Rotes Rathaus) on the eve of the World Health Summit 2023. Welcome notes at the festive event will be given by President Bas as well as Governing Mayor of Berlin, Kai Wegner, and WHO Director-General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and President of the National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, Prof Gerald Haug. The ceremony will be livestreamed.

About the Virchow Foundation and the Virchow Prize for Global Health

The Virchow Foundation for Global Health was established in 2021 with the support of the Presidents of the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina and the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities as well as Members of the German Parliament. Closely aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, the Virchow Foundation for Global Health raises awareness of global health issues among the public. In this context the Virchow Prize for Global Health, annually awarded on the eve of the beginning of the World Health Summit (WHS), recognises outstanding lifetime achievements or innovations that have significantly contributed to improving global health and achieving SDG3 ‘Health for All’.