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Nominations are now open for the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize. This international award recognizes medical research and medical services in Africa and honors change-makers — both individuals and organizations — at the forefront of efforts to combat diseases and improve lives there.

These efforts are more important than ever as the world grapples with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and medical experts and government agencies seek sustainable and equitable health solutions for all nations. Nominations, which must be made by a third party, are open until Aug. 20 for people of any nationality or age. The successful recipients will be announced in 2022.

The prize was named in memory of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi (1876 – 1928), a revered Japanese bacteriologist who devoted his life to the study of infectious diseases. The prize carries on the ideals and aspirations of Dr. Noguchi, who fell victim to yellow fever himself in Accra while conducting research on the disease. The Japanese government established the award in 2006, with prizes awarded in 2008, 2013 and 2019 to coincide with the Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD). Recipients will receive a citation, medal and ¥100 million (approximately $1 million).

The prize will be awarded in two categories: medical research and medical services. The World Health Organization’s Regional Office for Africa will assist the selection committee in the latter category.

The mission of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize aligns with the sustainable development goals adopted by all United Nations member states in 2015. Guided by the principle of “leaving no one behind,” the aims of the 17 SDGs include ending poverty, protecting the Earth and ensuring that all people can live in prosperity by 2030.

In line with WHO’s goals for global health and well-being, the third SDG calls on the world to “ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” Although great progress has been achieved in eradicating diseases in Africa in recent years, it is now imperative for the world to unite in finding ways to provide support for those affected by COVID-19, along with universal access to vaccines.

The winners of the Fourth Prize will be announced in 2022 at TICAD 8 in Tunisia, where overcoming the challenges caused by the pandemic will be discussed. The Fourth Noguchi Prize has special importance. Both in Africa and Japan, people embrace deep gratitude for medical professionals’ dedicated efforts in saving patients’ lives every single day. This is the moment to honor and celebrate their achievements. There are many heroes and many amazing stories in Africa. After enduring so much hardship and anxiety, these experiences encourage them to better understand the pain of others and deepen their humanity. Do not miss the opportunity to nominate your champions.

For more details on how to apply for the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize,
please visit: https://www.cao.go.jp/noguchisho/english/info/nomination4.html


About the man behind the prize

Born in Fukushima Prefecture in 1876, Dr. Hideyo Noguchi dedicated himself to the study of infectious diseases. Coming of age during the Meiji Era, Noguchi sought opportunities abroad with professor Simon Flexner and joined Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research in New York. He traveled to North and South America, China, Europe and Africa to conduct research, and was nominated for a Nobel Prize in 1914, 1915 and 1920.

Noguchi published more than 200 papers on various diseases over his lifetime and is particularly known for his research on syphilis and yellow fever, losing his life to the latter disease in present-day Ghana in 1928.

He became the first scientist whose portrait was printed on a Japanese bank note — the current ¥ 1,000 bill.

Dr. Hideyo Noguchi in his lab at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research | HIDEYO NOGUCHI MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
Dr. Hideyo Noguchi in his lab at the Rockefeller Institute for Medical Research | HIDEYO NOGUCHI MEMORIAL FOUNDATION

Send in as many names as possible: Dr. Omaswa

Dr. Francis Gervase Omaswa (Uganda)Laureate, Third Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Medical Services, 2019; Executive Director, African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

Dr. Francis Gervase Omaswa (Uganda)

Laureate, Third Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Medical Services, 2019; Executive Director, African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST)

I am delighted to learn that the nominations for the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize have been launched. As a laureate of the previous Third Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for the Medical Services, I want to encourage the nomination of as many well-qualified candidates as possible for this highly prestigious prize. There are many well-qualified candidates who may not be aware of the deserving high quality of their contributions to health services in Africa and I call upon all others to recognize them and submit the maximum number of nominations.

Laureates of Medical Services Category

Professor Miriam Khamadi Were (Kenya)Laureate, First Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Medical Services, 2008

Professor Miriam Khamadi Were (Kenya)

Laureate, First Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Medical Services, 2008

Dr. Alex Godwin Coutinho (Uganda)Laureate, Second Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Medical Services, 2013

Dr. Alex Godwin Coutinho (Uganda)

Laureate, Second Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize, Medical Services, 2013

For more information on HNAP laureates for medical services, please visit the following links:
Professor Miriam Khamadi Were: https://www.cao.go.jp/noguchisho/english/award/01/index-e.html
Dr. Alex Godwin Coutinho: https://www.cao.go.jp/noguchisho/english/award/02/index.html
Dr. Francis Gervase Omaswa: https://www.cao.go.jp/noguchisho/english/award/03/index.html

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