A 2009 Tutu Fellow,Dr Julie Makani, has been awarded the Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health. The award, which was made in November 2020, is awarded annually to a person, institution, a governmental or nongovernmental organization that has made an outstanding contribution to public health. It was presented at a special ceremony during the World Health Organisation Assembly.
Julie was awarded the prestigious prize at the WHO event due to her leading work at the Sickle Cell Disease Consortium in Tanzania, which provides an academic and scientific environment that serves as a platform for the professional development of clinicians and scientists working to combat sickle cell disease.
The award was split between her consortium and Dr João Aprigio Guerra de Almeida, who coordinates the Brazilian Network of Human Milk Banks.
Julie is the Principal Investigator for the Sickle Cell Disease programme at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences – a programme that has demonstrated how research translates into innovative health policies and clinical practices. The programme illustrates that effective global partnerships can build a critical mass of individuals and lead to significant advances in health and biomedical science in public and family health. The programme also works closely with patient and advocacy groups.
When accepting the prize, Julie said: “Thank you to WHO for selecting our consortium and we salute all nominees each of whom has made an incredible contribution to the scientific public health community. Thank you as well to the Government of Tanzania who supported and included the sickle cell disease as a priority condition in the non-communicable diseases programme.”