Professor John Owusu Gyapong, Vice Chancellor of University of Health and Allied Sciences (UHAS), has been awarded the 2019 Dominique Kyelem Prize in Maryland, USA, for his exceptional contribution to neglected tropical diseases research and programme implementation.
The prestigious award, presented annually by the Coalition for Operational Research on Neglected Tropical Diseases (COR-NTD), is named after Dr Dominique Kyelem, a global player in NTD, who passed away in 2013.
COR-NTD is a group of researchers, programme implementers and their in-country partners whose shared goal is to optimise control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases.
Professor Gyapong was selected by an eight-member panel of global health experts who made a secret vote to determine the winner, out of 14 nominations submitted by over 900 invitees to the annual COR-NTD event.
The UHAS Vice Chancellor is recognised as a major player on the global NTD stage and is credited as one of a few African programme managers, who pioneered the mass drug administration approach to lymphatic filariasis (LF), also known as elephantiasis elimination and the integration of LF programmes with other NTDs and public health initiatives.
The award celebrates Dr Dominique Kyelem’s personal attributes of “competence, effectiveness, collegiality, sincerity, and unquenchable determination and optimism,” the citation accompanying the prize said.
Even though he is currently dedicated to building a new premier educational institution in Ghana, Professor Gyapong, hoped students and scholars would take advantage of his vast experience and wisdom to carry on his passion for eliminating NTDs from Ghana, in particular, and the world as a whole.
Julie Jacobson; V. Kumaraswami; Mwele Malecela and David Molyneux; and Alan Fenwick, are the previous distinguished Kyelem Prize recipients.