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Dr. Amador is recognized by President Ortega of Nicaragua for his work with the country's Ministry of Health. Photo: CCC/Jairo Cajina.

The Nicaraguan Army has awarded the country’s Honorary Medal of Military Health to Dr. Juan José Amador, PATH’s director of health systems and technology for our Nicaragua Country Program. Nicaraguan President José Daniel Ortega Saavedra presented Dr. Amador with the medal on August 19 to recognize his work with the country’s Ministry of Health. The celebration commemorated the 31st anniversary of the Nicaragua Army Medical Corps.

Dr. Amador worked for Nicaragua’s Ministry of Health for 27 years, including serving as director general for 17 years, before joining PATH in 2008. He currently manages activities related to cervical cancer, rapid testing for febrile diseases at the point of care, health information systems, and vaccine introduction.

In his Ministry of Health role, Dr. Amador made more than 150 helicopter flights with the Nicaraguan Army to provide rapid response to epidemics of cholera, measles, and dengue and to respond to national disasters. In 1999, shortly after Hurricane Mitch caused catastrophic flooding in Nicaragua, Dr. Amador worked in coordination with the US Army to address health concerns stemming from the hurricane’s aftermath.

“This award is a significant event,” Dr. Amador said. “I am happy because it is an unexpected recognition.”

Posted September 21, 2010.