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03. Februar 2015

Zuma congratulates SA scientist on esteemed award

President Jacob Zuma on Monday congratulated South African professor and infectious diseases epidemiologist Salim Karim for receiving the African Union's (AU’s) prestigious R1.1-million Kwame Nkrumah Scientific Award in the field of Earth and Life Science, for his contribution to research in the field of HIV/Aids.

Karim was the research vice-chancellor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal and director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa). He has contributed to 30 years of research on the continent.

A multi-institutional programme, Caprisa undertook globally relevant and locally responsive research that contributed to understanding HIV pathogenesis and epidemiology, as well as the links between tuberculosis (TB) and Aids care. It also built local research infrastructure through cores of expertise and provided training through research fellowships tenable in South Africa and the US.

Karim stated that Africa's scientists have an important role to play in scientific innovation and research, which contributed to Africa's development and regional integration.

He made seminal contributions in microbicides for HIV prevention in women, HIV vaccines, and HIV-TB treatment that have a profound impact on global health.

He has spent over 30 years of his scientific career addressing the HIV and TB epidemics in South Africa and on the African continent and his research also impacted international policies for HIV prevention and treatment.

In one estimate, implementation of his HIV-TB treatment research findings could prevent up to 10 000 deaths each year in South Africa.

The awards ceremony took place during the AU Summit, which took place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The award was presented by AU Commission chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. In conferring the award, the AU Commission acknowledged Karim “for great scientific achievement and contribution through science for the socio-economic development of Africa”.

The two recipients of the award this year were from South Africa and Cameroon.

Edited by: Chanel de Bruyn  

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