By Ashok Ramsarup :: South African scientist Dr Kogie Naidoo has been honoured with the international Outstanding Female Scientist award. The award was presented by the European @amp; Developing Countries Clinicial Trials Partnership (EDCTP).
The French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Sylvie Retailleau presented the award at the Alais des Congrès de Paris in Paris.
EDCTP is a research programme under the auspices of the European Union (EU) that recognizes “world-leading female scientists in sub-Saharan Africa working on HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, malaria and neglected infectious diseases.” It celebrated two decades of the research programme which was co=hosted Ministry of Higher Education and Research of France.
Dr Naidoo, who was one of South Africa’s leading scientists, received the award for her seminal scientific contributions to the treatment of patients with tuberculosis (TB) and HIV co-infection that has shaped local and international treatment guidelines.
On receiving the award, Dr Naidoo said: “I feel honoured and deeply humbled to receive this prestigious award, which serves as an inspiration to women scientists in Africa.
“As I have extended my research to diagnosing and treating multi-drug resistance TB, I have seen how investing in science is creating a healthy future for poor nations in supporting equitable access to life-saving drugs and health care,” Dr Naidoo said.
The Durban-born in Durban, Dr Naidoo is the Deputy Director and Head of the CAPRISA’s TB-HIV Treatment Research Programme at the Centre for the AIDS Programme of Research in
South Africa (CAPRISA), and honorary associate Professor in the College of Health Sciences at the University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN) has made major contributions to AIDS
care and treatment in southern Africa.
Her research focused on reducing mortality in TB-HIV co-infection, immune reconstitution inflammatory syndrome, additive drug toxicity and drug interactions; the outcomes of which have shaped local and international clinical and policy guidelines.
Dr Naidoo is leading a consortium on evaluating new diagnostics for extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis. Currently, she is the lead Investigator of the EDCTP-funded multi-country Triage Test for All Oral DR-TB Regimen (TRiAD Study), which has been instrumental in establishing alliances and collaborative research networks within and between sub–Saharan African countries and establishing key European research partnerships. This strategy clinical trial programme contributes to enhancing and improving DR-TB diagnosis and treatment outcomes.
Dr Naidoo has been instrumental in leading and pioneering several research initiatives adopted by the South African National Department of Health, impacting sustained health systems strengthening and development. These included the PEPFAR-funded programme of nurse-initiated ARV treatment and strategies for TB-HIV integration, strengthening advanced clinical care delivery for HIV, and TB-HIV coinfected persons, including a Comprehensive Advanced Clinical Care Training curriculum. This training programme was adopted by the SA National
Department of Health remains a key factor for building capacity among frontline healthcare workers in managing complex TB/HIV cases.
Caprisa Director Professor Salim Abdool Karim complimented Dr Naidoo describing her success as one of South Africa’s most accomplished medical scientists playing a leading role in tuberculosis research.
Professor Karim said: “Her seminal findings have had a direct impact on saving the lives of patients with HIV-TB co-infection and the treatment approach for HIV-TB co-infection in almost all countries in the world draws upon her research.”