Hollman Alfonso Miller Hurtado
Coordinator, Department of Vector-Borne Diseases, Secretary of Health, Vaupès Government, Colombia

I have seen the damage and suffering that neglected tropical diseases have caused to children and elderly people in those communities. This is the reason why working with and for these neglected communities is my life project, and I hope to do this until the end of my days.

Dr. Hollman Miller has worked for more than 25 years to address the disparate burden of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) among the indigenous communities of Colombia’s Amazon Basin. After seeing first-hand the impact of tungiasis on these indigenous populations, Dr. Miller responded by pioneering a mapping, control and elimination program. He led efforts to increase access to medicine and to interrupt the transmission cycle by treating animal reservoirs and by implementing personal and household interventions to reduce the tungiasis infestation. Dr. Miller has also supported Brazil in its tungiasis elimination; because of his efforts, Brazil is now expanding its interventions into several indigenous communities in the Amazon Basin.

In 2010, Dr. Miller was the first person to identify the presence of trachoma as a public health problem in Colombia, precisely among indigenous communities. Shortly after, he enlisted national and international organizations to fund trichiasis surgeries in the Amazon basin.  His research spurred the Ministry of Health to map trachoma across the country. 


Serving in the office of the Health Secretary for the Vaupés province, he has worked to reduce the mortality rate of malaria and dengue with the overall goal of elimination despite the area being susceptible to these diseases.  He has also made significant contributions to malaria, zoonotics, and other NTDs, working collaboratively with some of the world’s most remote communities to standardize global practices and treatment. Indigenous communities bear a massive morbidity and mortality burden from these many diseases, and Dr. Miller has been an advocate for these marginalized populations for decades.