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Bangladeshi vaccine scientist Dr Firdausi Qadri wins Ramon Magsaysay Award

  • Published at 12:41 pm August 31st, 2021
Dr Firdausi Qadri
Dr Firdausi Qadri Dhaka Tribune

Dr Qadri is also a laureate of the 2020 L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Award for her advocacy of early diagnoses and global vaccination

Bangladeshi scientist Dr Firdausi Qadri has won the Ramon Magsaysay Award.

Dr Qadri, emeritus scientist at the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease Research (icddr,b), is a laureate of the 2020 L’Oréal-Unesco For Women in Science Award for her advocacy of early diagnoses and global vaccination as well as her work on understanding and preventing infectious diseases affecting children in developing countries.

She made the decision early on to pursue a career in medical research. In 1988, she joined icddr,b focusing her research on communicable diseases, immunology, vaccine development and clinical trials.

Also Read - At least 50% Bangladeshi women should dream of becoming scientists'

Her most difficult assignments were in the fight against cholera and typhoid, two major diseases prevalent in Bangladesh and other Asian and African nations with limited access to adequate water, sanitation, education, and medical treatment.

In this, Dr Qadri had a key role in the development of a more affordable oral cholera vaccine (OCV) and the typhoid conjugate vaccine (ViTCV) for adults, children, and even infants as young as nine months.

Later, she founded the Institute for Developing Science and Health Initiatives (ideSHi) in 2014. The institute conducts biomedical research and runs training courses and a testing center. It has become a hub of scientific activity by local and visiting scientists in Bangladesh.

Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia's highest honour and is widely regarded as the region's equivalent of the Nobel Prize and is given to individuals who have made extraordinary contributions to the eradication of poverty and the development of the society in Asia.

Also Read - Bill Gates calls Bangladeshi scientist Dr Firdausi Qadri a hero

The other recipients of this year's award are -- Mohammad Amjad Saqib from Pakistan and Steven Muncy from South-East Asia.

The annual award was established to preserve former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay's example of integrity in governance, courageous service to the people, and pragmatic idealism within a democratic society.

The prize was established in April 1957 by the trustees of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund based in New York City with the concurrence of the Philippine government.

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