Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates have hailed South African Indian-origin professors Salim Abdool Karim and spouse Quarraisha for their contributions within the fight towards HIV/Aids and COVID-19.
The scientist couple has refused quite a few awards each regionally and internationally, together with nationwide honors in South Africa, for his or her pioneering work in stopping the unfold of HIV amongst young girls by means of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Analysis in South Africa (CAPRISA) on the College of KwaZulu-Natal
Gates mentioned his charitable basis was now utilizing the couple’s expertise to test the unfold of Covid-19.
Professor Salim Abdool Karim, who heads the South African government’s advisory staff on Covid-19, has served on the Gates Basis Scientific Advisory Board for 10 years. He additionally chairs the WHO Scientific Committee on HIV.
“Drawing on their experiences from HIV and TB (tuberculosis), they’re serving to information the Covid-19 response in South Africa and all over the world,” Gates mentioned.
The Microsoft founder said the motto at Caprisa has impressed him. The motto is ‘Every day that you just come to work, you have to be in search of how today goes to be higher than yesterday.’ Salim said one in each fifth particular person contaminated with HIV on this planet is South African and that statistic motivated him and his spouse to take up the mantle towards HIV.
“Very early on, we each realized that we may pioneer and discover new methods to deal with and forestall HIV. We’ve now been in a position to manufacture these broadly neutralizing antibodies.
“We can be injecting it into younger girls to check whether or not it’s safe after which we need to see if it does stop HIV. If it could actually, it is going to change the course of the HIV epidemic in Africa,” he mentioned.
Quarraisha mentioned she had learned that epidemiology, a science, additionally has a social justice element to it.
“Girls bear about 4 occasions extra an infection in comparison with males. Our work as scientists is to attempt to discover applied sciences that girls can use to stop HIV an infection, particularly these girls who’re unable to barter the traditional safer intercourse practices,” she mentioned.
“We’ve managed to cut back transmission, but there are still near one million girls dying of AIDS. That shouldn’t be taking place,” mentioned Salim, who in Might this yr was pressured to take to social media to dismiss as faux information that he had received a grant of 944 million Rand in funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Basis.
“As a result of I’m an adviser to the Gates Basis, I do not need grant funding from Gates. Please convey the reality to help cease this fake news,” the professor mentioned.