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SA Professors Salim Abdool Karim and His Wife Quarraisha Abdool Karim Awarded Prestigious Japanese Prize

Aug 05, 2022

By Neelam Rahim

The Japanese government is awarding the prestigious fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize to renowned science professors and married couple Salim Abdool Karim and his wife Quarraisha Abdool Karim for their rigorous work on HIV and Covid-19. They will be honoured in the medical research category. Prof Abdool Karim is the director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa in Durban and former head of the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee. At the same time, his wife is Caprisa’s associate scientific director.

In a discussion with Radio Islam International, Prof Salim Abdool Karim said the Noguchi prize is given every five years. In the past, people who won it were some prominent luminaries who received this award. 

“There has been one African Scientist who has won it before, Qurraisha and I are the second African Scientist to have won this award and are the first from South Africa. One of the most prestigious in terms of recognition for African Scientist.” 

Prof Salim tells Radio Islam that Qurraisha and he have discovered a new antibody to work against HIV. The prize money will go toward helping the research. He said every award won was a pleasant surprise and a wonderful opportunity to enhance their energy and support. 

“It invigorates us to continue our research and reach even greater heights,” he said.

Meanwhile, the country is no longer in a Covid-19 State of Disaster, and the infection rate is so low that there was an agreement reached between the Health Department and the National Institute for Communicable Diseases to stop the daily reporting.

Prof Salim is deeply concerned that the goal was to achieve 70% vaccine coverage, currently at around 50%. Still far away from reaching 70%. 

He says vaccinations are essential because vaccines do pretty well in preventing infection, but more importantly, they do well in preventing severe disease. They protect in the event of getting infected; there would be no reason for hospitalisation. 

Listen to the full interview on Radio Islam’s podcast below.

 

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