Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim invited to serve on leading global organisations

26 May 2021

Professors Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, internationally recognised for their pioneering research in HIV, have been invited to serve on three leading global organisations.

CAPRISA’s Director, Professor Salim Abdool Karim has been invited to serve on the WHO Science Council alongside 9 of the world’s eminent scientists including Nobel Laureate Dr Harold Varmus. The announcement was made at the inaugural meeting of the Council on 27th April by WHO Director General Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus.

Chaired by Dr Harold Varmus, the Council will provide guidance including the identification of current and new science and technology issue that will impact global health and strategic advice to WHO on science, research and innovation in relation to the future impact of scientific developments.

Ghebreyesus explained that this step is part of the organisation’s deep-rooted transformation embarked upon four years ago. “A key part of that transformation has been to strengthen WHO’s scientific work so that we are not just keeping up with the latest scientific developments but staying ahead of the curve and harnessing the best science for global health”.

“Individually you each represent scientific excellence in your domain”, said Dr Soumya Swaminathan, Chief Scientist at the WHO. “And collectively you are an outstanding group of researchers and scientists, and Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, and I are grateful of your commitment to WHO and health for all.”

“Pandemics such as AIDS and Covid-19 have highlighted the important role of science in global health, “ said Abdool Karim who served as the chair of the South African ministerial advisory committee on COVID-19. “I am looking forward to participating in this Council providing scientific advice to WHO on future developments in health that the world needs to be better prepared for.”    

Professor Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Associate Scientific Director of CAPRISA was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, on 4th May as Co-chair to the new 10-Member Technology Facilitation Mechanism (TFM)  Group to support the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).  

 “It is an honour and a privilege to be appointed by the UN Secretary General to co-chair the high level 10-Member Technology Facilitation Mechanism Group, said Abdool Karim. “The Sustainable Development Goals provide an important framework to address inequities and vulnerabilities globally.” 

The 10-Member-Group will work with the UN Inter-agency Task Team on Science, Technology, and Innovation for the Sustainable Development Goals (IATT) to provide ideas, guidance, and recommendations accelerate progress on the SDGs.  It represents and mobilises inputs from civil society, private sector, and scientific communities around the world with diverse experience and expertise across a wide range of fields including science, technology, and innovation.

On 11th May, Friends of the Global Fight Against AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Friends), announced the appointment of Dr Quarraisha Abdool Karim and former U.S. congresswoman Martha Roby to its Board of Directors.

“It’s an honour to welcome Dr. Abdool Karim and former Representative Roby to our Board,” said Chris Collins, president and CEO of Friends. “They bring a wealth of experience and expertise in their respective fields of scientific research and public policy. We greatly look forward to working with them.”

Responding to her appointment Abdool Karim said “Friends does invaluable work harnessing U.S resources to support the Global Fund and end the HIV/AIDS epidemic. I see my role on the Board as a natural extension of my scientific work on the disease."

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