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Awards of Excellence of the ISCTRC in Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the International Scientific Council for Trypanosomiasis Research and Control (ISCTRC)

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For the commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the ISCTRC to be marked during the 35th General Conference of the ISCTRC to be held in Abuja, Nigeria on the 23rd to 27th September 2019, a decision has been made to recognize individuals who have made outstanding contributions, in the last 10 year, towards the mission and values of ISCTRC. These awards will consist of Plaques, Medallions and certificates. Recipients of these awards exemplify excellence and are representatives of the best in their fields. They have consistently excelled in their positions and demonstrated integrity and a strong commitment to the mission and values of ISCTRC. These awards will be presented on behalf of the Chairperson of the Africa Union Commission and the Thirty Eight (38) countries affected by tsetse flies and human and animal trypanosomiasis.

The recipients were nominated by the ISCTRC fraternity based on a specified criteria and eventually selected by a committee appointed by the Director of AU-IBAR.

Nominees for Awards

Gold Medal, Plaque and certificate

Diagnostics

1. Prof Philippe Buscher is a highly regarded Diagnostics scientist involved in developing diagnostic tools that have contributed immensely to the success in the control of Human African trypanosomiasis (HAT), focusing mainly on improved diagnosis. Some of the several diagnostics tools he has developed include CAT, mAECT, TDRs, ELISA, PCRs, and Trypanolysis. Prof. Büscher has co-authored more than 170 articles in peer reviewed journals and more than 10 book chapters. He has participated in several European projects and is a member of the World Health Organization Network for Human African Trypanosomiasis Elimination and is steering committee member of the project on African trypananosomiasis of GALVmed. He advises the Scientific Committee of the Belgian Federal Agency for Food Safety on the diagnosis of dourine (T. equiperdum) and is Associate Editor of PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Control of Tsetse (SIT)

2. Dr. Marc J.B. Vreysen is recognised for his role in Control of Tsetse (SIT). He has 30 years of experience with area-wide integrated pest management approaches and the sterile insect technique for major insect pests of crops, livestock and human health. His over 30 years of experience has involved 12 years working and living in sub-Saharan Africa, where he guided and advised SIT programmes against tsetse flies, including the successful tsetse eradication programme on Zanzibar Island. He has been working for the FAO and IAEA since 1987, of which the last 11 years as the Head of the Insect Pest Control Laboratory in Seibersdorf.

3. Dr. Udo Feldmann is a recognized Entomologist in Insect Pest Control techniques. He has more than 30 years’ experience in laboratory and field support to tsetse intervention projects, including four years of assignment in East and West Africa. Dr. Udo is recognized for advancing the use of Sterile Insect Technique (SIT) for eradication of tsetse flies in Zanzibar and other parts of the continent. A highlight of the work in the past 20 years was the conversion of Zanzibar to a tsetse fly free zone in 1997 by means of an area-wide integrated pest management (AW-IPM) campaign involving the SIT.

Research towards control

4. Dr. Rajinder Kumar Saini is recognized for pioneering the development of the innovative tsetse repellent technology and demonstrating how it can be integrated in push-pull strategies to significantly reduce disease levels in cattle and improve livelihoods of smallholder livestock keepers. This work provides a new paradigm for vector control. Saini is also recognized for his outstanding contribution to mission and values of ISCTRC for more than 35 years and for training over 100 technicians, numerous farmers, extensionists, livestock specialists and policy makers in tsetse biology and control from all over Africa.

Plaque and Certificate

Diagnostics

5. Prof. Joseph Mathu Ndung’u is the Head of the Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme at FIND, with extensive experience in managing large multi-country projects and partnerships, grant writing and resource mobilization. He is also the Chair of the Board of FIND DX Kenya. He has a degree in Veterinary Medicine and Surgery (BVM) and a PhD in immunopathology of human African trypanosomiasis (HAT, or sleeping sickness). He is a Visiting Professor of the University of Glasgow, Scotland, and a Corresponding Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh (CorrFRSE). Prof. Ndung’u is the Chancellor of Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT) (2019-2023). Prior to joining FIND in 2006, he was the Director of the Kenya Trypanosomiasis Research Institute for 9 years. Since joining FIND in 2006, has had extensive experience in development and introduction of diagnostics for HAT, and recently, leishmaniasis, Chagas disease, Buruli ulcer and schistosomiasis.

Research towards control

6. Fatma Serap Aksoy is recognised for spearheading the sequencing of the tsetse genome which has fueled research into the fundamental aspects of tsetse and trypanosome transmission biology for development of new tools for control of the vector and the disease. Dr. Aksoy has lectured around the world, and maintains ongoing collaborative research programs with the National Livestock Research Institute (NaLIRRI) and Gulu University in Uganda, and Biotechnology Research Institute (BRI) in Kenya. Together with her colleagues at Yale, Dr. Aksoy has been involved in an international training program to expand research capacity in tsetse-transmitted diseases in East Africa.

Advocacy

7. Mr. John P. Kabayo was the 1st coordinator of the PATTEC Coordination Office. He is well know for his firm belief and action that T&T will eventually be eradicated from the African continent and therefore free a lot of arable land for Agriculture. He is credited for carrying advocacy campaigns and eliciting support of Member States to be in the front line in mobilising funds to manage Tsetse & Trypanosomosis.

8. Dr. Hassane Mahamat Hassane was the second AU-PATTEC coordinator. He is well known for his firm belief and action that T&T will eventually be eradicated from the African continent and therefore free a lot of arable land for Agriculture. He is credited for carrying advocacy campaigns and eliciting support of Member States to be in the front line in mobilising funds to manage Tsetse & Trypanosomosis.

9. Albert A. Ilemobade (posthumous), is being recognized for his outstanding contribution in furthering advocacy and diplomacy of the objectives and values of the ISCTRC and PAAT. The late Professor Albert. A. Ilemobade was a veterinarian with vast experience in the field and the laboratory in the field of Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis. He served on several FAO Expert Panels on Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis and related development and undertook several field missions on T&T. At the request of the Director of AU-IBAR Prof Ilemobande and Dr. Saydil M. Toure supported the revision of the ISCTRC Constitution in 2006. He was a member of the ISCTRC for many years before becoming its President in 1986. He served as the Chairman of the Programme against African Trypanosomiasis (PAAT) and Served as an Executive Committee Member of the ISCTRC.

Contribution to National Control Programmes & Elimination of HAT

10. Dr Pere P. Simarro is recognized for his role in the coordination of different stakeholders in supporting and reinforcing the leading role of National Control Programs and harmonizing strategies for control and elimination of human African trypanosomiasis.

11. Dr Victor Kande Betu-Kumesu is recognized for many years work at all the levels of the control of human African trypanosomiasis: mobile teams, HAT treatment centers, provincial coordination and management of the DRC National Program but also including his role in research activities, looking always for the wellbeing of the people affected by human African trypanosomiasis.

Contributions to ISCTRC

12. Charles Ibrahim Mahama is recognized for his outstanding contribution in furthering advocacy and diplomacy of the objectives and values of the ISCTRC particularly during reign as coordinator of the Pan African Tsetse and Trypanosomiasis Eradication Campaign (PATTEC), Accra, Ghana.

13. Dr. Grace Adira Murilla is recognized for her outstanding contribution in furthering advocacy and diplomacy of the objectives and values of the ISCTRC. She was ISCTRC General Rapporteur for many years, a role she performed with honor, passion, diligence and total dedication. Her areas of expertise include Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, Product R&D, Product safety/toxicology, Drug Metabolism and Pharmacokinetics/Pharmacodynamics. She has held other key positions, notably former Director, Biotechnology Res Institute Kenya, Centre Director of KARI-Trypanosomiasis Res Centre and Affiliate Staff, Yale University School of Public Health; EANETT Chairperson; and Coordinator of the WHO/TDR Centre of Excellence (CoE) in HAT Capacity Strengthening in Africa.

14. Prof Ahmed Rahman is recognized for outstanding contribution in furthering advocacy and diplomacy of the objectives and values of the ISCTRC. From 2018 to present, he has been an Animal Health Consultant, Coral Company Ltd, Khartoum (post retirement). His previous roles included Director Veterinary Research Institute (VRI), Director, Supporting Units Administration, Central Vet. Res. Labs, Head Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Control Department; Coordinator, IAEA Regional Technical Co-operation Projects (RAF),”Sterile Insect Technique for Area- wide Tsetse and Trypanosomosis Management”. He has held several roles within ISCTRC, such as 2007-2018: Member of ISCTRC Executive Committee; 2016 to present: Member PATTEC Steering Committee; 2013-2015: Chair ISCTRC, 2000-2007; and 2004-2014, when he served as PATTEC Focal Person, Sudan. He has published over Thirty Eight papers in local and international journals, and Supervisor for many Ph. D and Master Degrees students.

Young Scientist

15. Dr. Njelembo J. Mbewe holds the position of Principal Tsetse Control Biologist at the Department of Veterinary Services Zambia. He is being recognised as a promising young scientist in areas dealing with Tsetse and trypanosomiasis. In Zambia, he has been afficiated to operations under Kwando-Zambezi Regional Tsetse eradication project. He has also undertaken significant level of research assignment that led to Ph.D and six publications in peer reviewed Journals.

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