The 1961 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service
CITATION for Raden Kodijat
Ramon Magsaysay Award Presentation Ceremonies
31 August 1961, Manila, Philippines
Dr. RADEN KODIJAT had reached a normal retirement age when he was asked, in 1950, to organize and direct a national yaws control program that is today larger than the total of all other such efforts in the world. Knowing the enormity of the task ahead, he accepted without hesitation this call to the service of his Government and people.
A member of the Public Health Service since 1914, Dr. KODIJAT had long fought this highly contagious scourge of the rural areas in the moist tropics that corrodes the flesh and finally attacks the bones of its victims. Seeing that clinics filled with patients taking the tedious arsenical cure were reaching only a fraction of those with yaws, he had conducted at Kediri, in 1934, the first experiment in treating an entire population group until all symptoms of infection had disappeared. Discovery of the penicillin treatment made broad extension of his approach practical. It became possible when the new Republic's request for assistance in a countrywide attack was met by the United Nations Children's Fund and the World Health Organization which have provided penicillin, vehicles, medical supplies and technical assistance.
Carefully investigating every aspect of the problem in order to utilize most efficiently the staff and equipment available, he evolved a program that could function effectively despite the difficulties facing his newly independent nation. Integrated with regular health services, it was in harmony with local needs and overcame the acute shortage of trained doctors by using male nurses and assistants for mass examination and treatment.
Today at the halfway mark, some 55 million Indonesians, or nearly two out of every three residents of the 3,000 islands in the archipelago, have been examined and more than half of the estimated 12 million cases of yaws have been cured.
Now 71 years old, this devoted doctor continues to hold concern for the health of his people above his own and quietly but firmly to manage an endeavor of far-reaching humanitarian and economic consequences through its crucial years.
In electing RADEN KODIJAT to receive the 1961 Ramon Magsaysay Award for Government Service, the Board of Trustees recognizes his dedicated and skillful direction of the massive yaws eradication effort that is freeing his countrymen from a disfiguring and crippling disease.
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