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Prof. Omaswa wins global health award

By Moses Walubiri

Added 26th April 2019 05:33 PM

Omaswa is this year’s co-winner with Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, a Congolese academic

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Prof. Francis Omaswa has been recognised for his medical research. (Courtesy photo)

Omaswa is this year’s co-winner with Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, a Congolese academic

GLOBAL RECOGNITION

Prof. Francis Omaswa, an eminent Ugandan academic, researcher and administrator, has been announced as the third co-winner of a global health award periodically given out by the Japanese International Co-operation Agency (JICA).

Dubbed the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, the award honours men and women with outstanding achievements in the fields of medical research and medical services to combat infectious and other diseases in Africa, thus contributing to the health and welfare of the African people and of all humankind.

Omaswa is this year’s co-winner with Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum, a Congolese academic and pioneering researcher in the field of developing ingenious mechanisms of combating the deadly Ebola virus in his native Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Omaswa has been honoured for his dedication to addressing the global health workforce (HWF) crisis including education, training, retention and migration of healthcare workers and for building pro-people health and medical systems not only across Africa, but worldwide.

“Omaswa has become a world leader in the development of international systems for the support, training and eFficient utilisation of health workforces particularly on the African continent. He led the drafting and convening of the First Global Forum on HWF and inspiring the adoption of the Kampala Declaration and Agenda for Global Action that now guides the global response,” JICA noted in its announcement Thursday.

A former director general of Uganda Health Service and a one-time chancellor of Busitema University, JICA, lauded Omaswa for his untiring service to humanity in the field of medicine — citing stints at the Global Fund to ight TB, AIDS and malaria and independent review committee of Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation.

As founder and executive director of the Global Health Workforce Alliance, Omaswa is credited for leading multiple efforts to create health systems and workforces that can propel Africa towards realisation of the “Health for All” aspirations of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

 Omaswa (centre) has been honoured for his dedication to addressing the global health workforce (HWF) crisis

 

At the time Omaswa served as director general health services, Uganda was leading globally in the prevention and management of HIV/ AIDS.

With HIV/AIDS prevalence reduced to a third, the Ugandan model in combating the scourge was adopted by many countries under the throes of the 21st century epidemic.

The founding director of Uganda Heart Institute, Omaswa has been acclaimed for improving Uganda’s expertise in responding to epidemics which saw a Ugandan medical sent to West Africa in 2004/05 to handle an Ebola outbreak.

A respected cardiologist who has worked and taught in UK, Kenya and Uganda, where he has trained generations of cardiologists, Omaswa has had stints at World Health Organisation headquarters in Geneva in different capacities.

Reacting to the achievement, Omaswa expressed his gratitude to the Government that has given him an opportunity to serve Ugandans.

“I encourage all Ugandan and African people to serve willingly, diligently and sellessly knowing that the world is always watching us,” he said Thursday in a statement released by African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation where he is the founder and executive director.

Awarded every after five years, the Japanese Government established the Noguchi Prize in July 2006 as a new international medical research and services award. The award ceremony of the Third Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize hosted by Japanese Prime Minister will be on August 30 in Tokyo on the occasion of the Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development.

The conference will be held in Yokohama from August 28 to 30 with African leaders’ participation. The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize comprises of a citation, a medal and an honorarium.


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