Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim invited by the government of Japan to engage in high level dialogue

6 April 2023

The government of Japan hosted Professors Salim and Quarraisha Abdool Karim, CAPRISA’s Director & Associate Scientific Director, recipients of the Fourth Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize (Medical Research category) from 12 – 17 March to introduce the laureates to engage with a range of high-level officials and key stakeholders in Japan. 

The Abdool Karims and Mr Adam Weiss (The Carter Centre) received the Prize at TICAD8 attended by leaders from Africa on 28 August last year. TICAD is co-hosted by the Government of Japan, United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC). “May this prize inspire our youth to pursue careers in science to improve lives in Africa and globally,” said Prof Salim Abdool Karim.

The visit to Japan commemorated the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize with high level meetings, lecture sessions and symposiums hosted by organizations involved in Africa and development cooperation. The itinerary included events in Fukushima Prefecture, a courtesy call on the Governor, visits to Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Museum and the Tsuruga Castle, and engagement with high school students. The Abdool Karims  
met with the Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Fumio Kishida and attended a dinner hosted by the Cabinet Office. They also met with Mr Hiroshi Zengo, Mayor of Inawashiro Town and Mr Syohei Muroi, Mayer of Aizu-Wakamatsu City. They visited and delivered a lecture at the Nippon Medical School and held discussions with President Akihiko Gemma of the school.

On 16 March the Abdool Karims joined a diverse group of experts in the Special Edition of AFRI CONVERSE, a dialogue series in the advocacy of TICAD, co-organized by Japan’s Cabinet Office, the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The session focussed on the evolving development contexts and priorities on the continent, examined gaps and opportunities in human capital development, as well as successful models of investments pioneered by the laureates engaging multi-sectoral partners. The aim of the dialogue was to share good practices and lessons learned by the laureates to inspire future actions undertaken by stakeholders and a pathway for building health resilience in Africa. “It is only when our research changes the lives of the most vulnerable for the better that we know that our research is having an impact,” said Prof Quarraisha Abdool Karim. On 28 March they met with Dr Derrick Heng, Deputy Director of Medical Services (Public Health Group) and Prof Vernon Lee, Senior Director (Communicable Diseases) in Singapore. 

Cover photo: (L-R)  Prime Minister of Japan, Mr Fumio Kishida meets with Profs Salim & Quarraisha Abdool Karim
Photo on the left: The Abdool Karims are welcomed by Okinashima elementary school students at the Hideyo Noguchi Memorial Hall, Inawashiro Town. Photo on the right: Prof Vernon Lee, Senior Director (Communicable Diseases), Singapore Ministry of Health, Profs Salim &  Quarraisha Abdool Karim, Dr Derrick Heng, Deputy Director of Medical Services (Public Health Group), Singapore Ministry of Health meet in Singapore.