“I accept this award with great humility, on behalf of many in my team who have worked hard over the years to uphold the vision and mission of the Aga Khan University in supporting research and scholarship to address the lives of poor and marginalized women and children.
The fact that it comes from Turkey, a leader in science and research in the Islamic world, based on the nomination from the Pakistan Academy of Sciences, makes it all the more rewarding.”
– Dr Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
ANKARA, Turkey (December 14, 2015) – President Recep Tayyip Erdogan presented one of Turkey’s most prestigious annual awards, the International TUBA Academy Prize, to three scientists on Monday.
Niyazi Serdar Sariciftci from Linz Johannes Kepler University, Zulfiqar A. Bhutta from the University of Toronto and Aga Khan University (AKU) and Mehmet Genc from Istanbul Sehir University received the awards, according to a statement on the website of TUBA (Turkish Academy of Sciences).
Speaking at the award ceremony in the presidential palace in Ankara, Erdogan said that “new Turkey” – a slogan used by the government to describe a series of reforms ahead of 2023, the 100th anniversary of the founding of Turkish Republic – would be built on science, research and innovation.
The award includes an Academy Medal as well as prize money of $ 30,000 for each, accoring to the TUBA statement.
About Dr. Zulfiqar A. Bhutta
Dr Bhutta is the founding director of the Centre for Excellence in Women and Child Health at the Aga Khan University and the co-director of the SickKids Centre for Global Child Health in Toronto.
With over 650 peer-reviewed publications and eight books to his name, he has played a key role in global efforts to improve the health of mothers and children through evidence-based interventions that have been the base of many national health policies.
At the launch of the new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health in September, Dr Bhutta represented AKU, which pledged its commitment to invest over US$ 85 million to improve capacity and to develop programmes that will reach over 15 million women and children in South-Central Asia and East Africa, and potentially save a million lives.
In Pakistan, he has been a driving force in improving maternal and child health through his work with the Lady Health Workers programme and in advocating for key changes to national and provincial health and nutrition policies.
Dr Bhutta had also received two prestigious international prizes last year – the WHO Ihsan Dog˘ramacı Family Health Foundation Prize, and the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Samuel J. Fomon Nutrition Award.