KFAS News

Public lecture by Kevin Marsh: Holder of 2015 Al-Sumait Prize In Health

April 01, 2018

The Kuwait Foundation for the Advancement of Science (KFAS) has announced that it will be hosting a public lecture featuring Dr. Kevin Marsh, Professor of Tropical Medicine at the University of Oxford, and Senior Advisor at the African Academy of Sciences (AAS).

The lecture will take place at the Foundation’s headquarters on April 3rd, 2018. Dr. Marsh will highlight the significant leaps taken by African nations in healthcare and combating infectious diseases.  The achievements of Dr. Marsh, in the field of health care and infectious disease, made him the first laureate of Al-Sumait Prize for African Development in the field of health, as awarded by KFAS in 2015.

Having spent 38 years battling malaria and other infectious diseases among children in Africa, Dr. Kevin Marsh is a groundbreaking contributor to the field and is one of the top global medical researchers in the clinical, epidemiological and immunological aspects of malaria.

His efforts have enabled the development of more effective methodologies for overcoming fatal healthcare challenges in Africa. Over the past 15 years, statistics show that the work of Dr. Marsh and his colleagues has limited the spread of malaria, and general infectious diseases, thus saving the lives of 6 million children.

His pioneering achievements over the past 38 years led him to be appointed Senior Advisor at the African Academy of Sciences, and Chair of the WHO Malaria Policy Advisor Committee (MPAC). In addition, his leadership efforts resulted in the establishment of AESA (Accelerating Excellence of Science in Africa); an innovative platform which aims to support Africa’s development through scientific and technological advancement across the continent.

Commenting on this announcement, Dr. Salem Alhajraf, Deputy Director General at the Kuwait Foundation for Advancement, said: “We are pleased to host Dr. Kevin Marsh at KFAS. The value of his contributions to health in Africa over the last decades is clearly reflected by the drastic decline in casualties caused by tropical diseases, specifically malaria.” He also said: “I wish to extend an open invitation to every scientist, researcher and individual with an interest in African affairs to seize this valuable opportunity and attend this lecture.”

In 2015, KFAS recognized the achievements of Dr. Kevin Marsh by awarding him the Al-Sumait Prize for African Development. This award aims to honor individuals or institutions for significant advances in the fields of food security, health and education in Africa. The 2016 Al-Sumait Food Security award went to two joint winners: the Sweet Potato for Nutrition Team at the International Potato Centre (CIP) from Peru, and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA)) from Nigeria. The 2017 education award went to the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), an organization focused on developing African education and gender equity. This year’s award will be once again given to a notable individual, or institution, in the field of health.

Sponsored by the State of Kuwait under the supervision of KFAS, Al-Sumait Prize for African Development rewards innovative initiatives and research addressing developmental challenges facing the African continent. The prize of one-million US dollars is one among many humanitarian initiatives made by His Highness, the Amir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah. His Highness, the Amir, announced the prize during the November 2013 Africa-Arab Summit in Kuwait. The prize is to commemorate the legacy of the late Dr. Al-Sumait, in order to support the social development, human resources and infrastructure in Africa. This award reflects Kuwait’s commitment towards supporting developing countries in Africa, and around the world.