Top UK Award for Lifelong Champion of Tuberculosis Eradication
By Raficq Abdulla, MA (Oxon.), MBE
Dr. Amina Jindani, a globally recognised specialist in the field of tuberculosis research, was conferred the Ibn Sina Award for Medicine by the Muslim News Awards for Excellence for 2018 at the Marriot Hotel in London’s Grosvenor Square on Monday 23 April.
Speaking to an audience of over 500 people from all segments of the UK civil society, including Cabinet Ministers and Members of both Houses of Parliament, Dr. Jindani paid handsome tribute to her parents who, she stated, were sufficiently enlightened to ensure that she had the best education to pursue their wish for her to qualify as a doctor. She said, “My wish in accepting this award, in the name of one of Islam’s greatest physicians and philosophers, is that may every female child on this planet receive the same gift of education”.
Being a Scientific Advisor to a UK registered charity called World without TB, Dr. Jindani has raised much-needed funds to support international research to eradicate TB which, with an annual global mortality of nearly 2 million people, is the biggest killer of all infectious diseases. She has done this work as a volunteer and is now embarking on a unique multi-national and multi-centre clinical trial that will reduce the time of curing TB from the present six months to four months. This two-month reduction will reduce the burden of health care for millions of people throughout the world suffering from a disease which, she states, “has no reason to exist but for our own apathy. Doing nothing is not an option. We just do not have much time left,” Dr. Jindani stressed.
With a handsome donation from a Canadian Ismaili donor through the Aga Khan Foundation in Canada, Dr. Jindani has been able to enlist the Aga Khan University in Pakistan to participate in this important trial, the only one of its kind taking place in the world which will involve collaboration from Peru and Mexico in Latin America, Uganda, Botswana and Guinea in Africa, and Nepal and Pakistan in Asia. “Pakistan is critical,” she said. “With the AKU in this study and with a little more financial assistance, we shall be able to help millions of people in neighbouring countries such as Afghanistan, Tajikistan and China – as well as Pakistan itself”.
The Muslim News Award for Excellence acknowledged as the standard bearer for recognising and promoting excellence within the Muslim community in the UK, covers a range of disciplines from engineering, science and technology, to community development, healthcare and media. The Awards also cover the arts, education and creativity in Islamic Thought. Each of these awards is named after a leading Muslim scholar or a famous Muslim institution. Referring to the Awards, Ahmed Versi, editor of the Muslim News, the largest Muslim media organisation in the UK, and the founder of the Awards, stated that these honours serve as a counterpoint to the negativity that surrounds Muslims in the mainstream media. Highlighting the outstanding contributions made in various fields of human endeavour by Muslims, Versi pointed out the fact that in 2017, 60% of the winners of the Awards were women. This showed their immense contribution to society in the UK. Versi also emphasised that, currently, there were only 8 Muslim women in Parliament but he pointed out that the good news is, that their number is higher than those of the 7 Muslim male MP’s!