Witness Reporter
2 minute read
5 Aug 2022

KZN professors win prestigious Hideyo Noguchi Prize

Witness Reporter

It is the first time that this award is being bestowed on South African scientists.

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim.

Professors Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim have been selected as joint recipients of the prestigious fourth Hideyo Noguchi Prize, in the medical research category.

Salim is pro vice-chancellor in research at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and Quarraisha is pro-vice-chancellor for African health at UKZN.

The award to be presented by the government of Japan, said UKZN, is in recognition of the two professors’ contributions to HIV/Aids prevention and treatment through scientifically rigorous research, for their role in training African scientists, and for their scientific leadership in the response to Covid-19 in Africa.

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“It is the first time that this award is being bestowed on South African scientists. The Hideyo Noguchi Prize is one of the most prestigious awards to be presented by the Japanese government.

“It was established in honour of an outstanding Japanese medical scientist, Dr Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928), and aims to honour individuals and organisations that are at the frontline of combatting infectious diseases,” said the university.

Professors Salim Abdool Karim.
Professors Salim Abdool Karim.

The awards ceremony, to be hosted by Japan’s prime minister, will be held in Tunisia on August 28, as part of the Eighth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (Ticad 8), which is being held jointly with African heads of state under the auspices of the African Union (AU).

We are deeply honoured to be joint recipients of the prestigious Noguchi Medical Research Award as it affirms that African scientists are leading and making important contributions in the global fight against Aids, TB, and Covid-19

They said that the award recognises their multi-disciplinary research team of over 300, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, statisticians, and laboratory scientists; thousands of volunteers; collaborators, and sponsors across the world.

But, said the pair, the task is not yet complete — this award inspires them to do even more to prevent and treat infectious diseases that threaten Africa’s prosperity.