Sara Canavati wins title of Regional Malaria Champion: Asia Pacific in the 2015 Social Media Awards

Published: 27, November 2015

We are very pleased to offer our congratulations to Sara Canavati, Regional Malaria Champion: Asia Pacific in the 2015 Social Media Awards.

This Award recognizes the individuals who uses social media most effectively to promote the Asia Pacific malaria elimination goal and to showcase regional efforts in malaria control and the response to artemisinin resistance.

Sara Canavati, a research scientist and infectious disease epidemiologist at the the Mahidol-Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU), was nominated by her peers for her dedicated and passionate malaria advocacy on Facebook and Twitter, as evidenced in this selection of comments from her supporters:1

  • “In the heartland of artemisinin resistance, Sara has walked the long and muddy paths to find the next person with malaria. In the nearby clinic, she has been seated beside an old lady dying of congestive cardiac failure (found incidentally to locating people with malaria). A week later, she has been in an academic meeting presenting world-leading research findings on malaria drug treatment. In the evenings she is on social media spreading the word about malaria to a world that is often not only a thousand miles away in distance, but a thousand miles away in their thoughts and priorities. She has done much to bridge these different worlds.” (Jack Richards)

  • “Sara has used Facebook as a powerful tool to disseminate the most recent malaria elimination information. She also shares lessons learned from the past on how malaria was eliminated in many countries. I have learned a lot from her posts.” (Thet Zin)

  • “Sara is tireless in championing the cause of malaria elimination and it shows. Her passion, energy and endless enthusiasm shines through in her social media activities and the information she shares with the global malaria community is both timely and always informative.” (Adam Aspinall)

  • “Dr. Sara Canavati is smart, and energetic—just the kind of person we need in the malaria elimination activities. She shares passionately and fervently on Facebook and Twitter her heart, expertise, youth, knowledge and jovial strength in promoting malaria elimination activities for the neediest places in South East Asia.” (Nancy de la T)

Sara was nominated alongside an all-star cast of regional malaria heroes, whom we would also like to thank for their Asia Pacific malaria advocacy:

Speaking about her nomination, Dr. Canavati has said, “Scientists can benefit enormously by using social media to promote their own work and stay current in other scientists’ work…social media is a powerful tool to engage non-science audiences in malaria control and elimination. It is a very rewarding activity that all scientists should get more involved in.”2

You can find out more about Sara Canavati’s work in a recent profile by Cameron Conaway, and about the remaining Malaria Hero winners here.

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Lightly edited for clarity.

2 MORU Tropical Health Network. Sara Canavati, Cameron Conaway - Social Innovation award finalists []; accessed 27/11/2015.

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