WASHINGTON, March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The government of Japan has awarded Dr. Alex Coutinho the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Services. The prize recognizes individuals or organizations who are committed to combating infectious disease in Africa and who have made a substantial contribution to medical research or medical services. This is the second time Japan has honored an individual with the prestigious prize.
Born in Uganda, Dr. Coutinho has been working for over 30 years to prevent and treat HIV/AIDS in Africa and was recently named one of the 20 most influential Ugandans in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
"I am honored and thankful to receive this prize and for the recognition that it also brings to my colleagues at IDI and TASO and throughout Uganda. Great strides have been made in the fight against infectious disease – yet more work remains," commented Dr. Coutinho. "We must continue building the healthcare infrastructure in Africa so that Africans are prepared to combat HIV and other infectious diseases for the long-term."
Dr. Coutinho is the Sande-McKinnell Chair and Executive Director of the Infectious Diseases Institute (IDI) at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. Established by Accordia Global Health Foundation and a diverse coalition of partners, IDI is now an African-owned and -led Center of Excellence in health that combines locally-relevant and innovative research, training, and clinical care services to drive best practices and strengthen health systems throughout the region.
Under Dr. Coutinho's leadership, IDI has expanded its services throughout Uganda and has had an international impact on infectious disease research, treatment, and care.
"On behalf of his colleagues and friends at Accordia, I congratulate Alex on this well-deserved honor," said Accordia's President Dr. Warner Greene. "Because of his vision, passion, and dedication to excellence, millions of men, women, and children in Africa are living healthier lives today."
Prior to joining IDI, Dr. Coutinho spent six years as the Executive Director of The AIDS Support Organization Uganda, Africa's largest HIV/AIDS care and treatment organization.
Peter Piot will also be awarded The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Research, in recognition of his pivotal research on disease endemic in the African continent.
Dr. Coutinho and Professor Piot will formally receive the The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize on June 1, 2013. The prize will be presented by the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe.
SOURCE Accordia Global Health Foundation