icddr,b ED wins Prince Mahidol Award

24 Nov 2018, 21:01

NTV Online
Prof Jan R. Holmgren (left), Prof John D. Clemens (right). Photo: Collected

Dhaka: Executive Director of International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research, Bangladesh (icddr,b) Prof John D Clemens has won this year’s Prince Mahidol Award.

The Prince Mahidol Award Foundation has recently announced US epidemiologist Prof John D Clemens and a Swedish immunologist Prof Jan Holmgren as the winners in public health category, reports the UNB.

The prestigious Prince Mahidol Award 2018 in public health recognises icddr,b Executive Director and the former Chair of icddr,b’s Scientific Advisory Group for their role in the development and advancement of the only safe, effective and affordable oral cholera vaccine available.

They have worked for over 30 years to develop, evaluate, and introduce the world’s only safe, effective, and affordable internationally licensed oral cholera vaccines (OCVs), according to icddr,b.

These vaccines, which have revolutionised cholera control efforts in Africa, the Middle East, Haiti, and Asia, have saved and continue to save countless lives among the world’s disadvantaged.

Established in January 1992, The Prince Mahidol Award is the Kingdom of Thailand’s tribute to personalities and institutions who are reputed for the advancement in medicine and public health, in honour of Prince Mahidol of Songkhla, Father of Thailand’s modern medicine and grandfather of King Rama X.

Prof Clemens says, ‘It’s especially meaningful to have received the award for work done with my long-term friend and colleague, Jan Holmgren, and while I am serving as Executive Director of the icddr,b, where the oral cholera vaccine story began.’

Both scientists have long been associated with icddr,b and their work in Bangladesh, beginning in the 1980’s, was critical to the development, licensure, and global endorsement of oral cholera vaccines.

icddr,b’s Chairman of the Board of Trustees Prof Maxine Whittaker congratulated them and said this is not only an honour for icddr,b but also for the people of Bangladesh in recognizing the crucial role they have played in OCV development, a vaccine which has gone on to save many lives, most recently among the entire population of forcibly displaced Rohingyas living in Cox Bazar district.

In January 2019, Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will preside over the official Presentation Ceremony of the Prince Mahidol Award 2018, where laureates will officially be handed over their award and will present their lectures on respected field of work.