By Russell Harris- Writer / Curator, London, U.K.
Professor Amina Jindani, recipient of the 2018 Ibn Sina Award for Medicine was awarded the 2019 Princess Chichibu Memorial Global Award for her work in the field of tuberculosis research on 31 October 2019 at the 50th World Union Conference on Lung Health held in Hyderabad, India.
Speaking to an international audience of over 1,000 specialists on tuberculosis, Dr Okada of the Japanese Anti Tuberculosis Association (JATA) who conferred the Award on Professor Jindani on behalf of Princess Atishino of Japan, Patroness of JATA, gave a brief history of the Award. Dr Okada stated that since 1998 the award has been given annually in collaboration with the Paris-based International Union Against Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IUATLD) to a person who has made a significant contribution to research on tuberculosis with a view to its eradication.
Dr Okada refered to Professor Jindani as “a global leader of tuberculosis treatment and drug development… whose work , which has been published in various highly–ranked journals, [has contributed] to policy documents of a number of international agencies including the WHO”. Dr Okada highlighted the seminal importance of Professor Jindani’s recent clinical trial, conducted in a number of countries, with the aim of “shortening the treatment regimen of pulmonary tuberculosis duration which leads to reduced transmission and eventually will lead to the eradication of tuberculosis from the world”
In her acceptance speech, Professor Jindani paid tribute to her late parents “for giving me the best education any Muslim girl could ever receive”. She also paid tribute to the late Professor Denny Mitchison, a global leader of tuberculosis treatment under whose tutelage she worked for many years.
Professor Jindani’s present clinical trial, which includes the Aga Khan University and the Shaukat Khanum Hospital in Pakistan, is aimed at reducing the treatment duration from the current 6 months to 4 months. Highlighting the fact that “there is still a long way to go”, she reminded the audience that “I am still on the case!”
The same day that her award was announced, Professor Jindani also started her new role as a full-fledged Professor of Tuberculosis at St George’s University of London, from where her multicentre global trial is being coordinated.
Running her own charity called World without TB, Professor Jindani emphasizes that “TB can be eradicated. There is no excuse for not trying hard enough as we are very close to making a breakthrough. Every little bit helps!”