Dr Alex Coutinho, former TASO Executive Director(2001-07) has won the prestigious Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for his outstanding contribution to medical services in Africa. The Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize honors men and women "with outstanding achievements in the fields of medical research and medical services to combat infectious and other diseases in Africa. Dr. Coutinho is currently the Executive Director of Infectious Disease Institute(IDI).
This prize for the great works of men and women who contribute to the health and the general welfare of the African people and of all humankind, is managed by Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). According to the statement from the Japanese Embassy quoted by the press in Kampala, Dr Coutinho’s main contributions were when he took over the TASO leadership and demonstrated models of scaled up care and treatment that have been emulated world over.
On receiving the great news of the award, PRNewswire-US Newswire quote Dr Countiho saying, "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 Countiho was the Executive Director of TASO from 2001 to 2007, a period in which the organization witnessed phenomenal growth and expansion in HIV prevention, care and support services, reaching out and greatly impacting the lives of many individuals, families and communities affected by HIV and AIDS in Uganda and the rest of the world. It was during his tenure that the organisation innovated many practices and interventions including providing live-saving Anti Retroviral (ARV) drugs to its clients and the interventions he championed have remained key components of the TASO and the country HIV response.
In his appreciation message to the TASO Family, Dr Alex writes… “Just like no man is an island it is also true that no man or woman can excel through their own efforts exclusively. It takes a team, it takes great institutions and it requires a collective passion and commitment to serving our people and in particular HIV+ people”. “I therefore want to thank everyone of you for your contributions to TASO and hence your contributions to my personal success. I do not take this prize for granted and I am deeply grateful and humbled and give thanks to God, to my family and to each and every one of you. I do commit that the prize will be use to further enhance the health of the people of Uganda’’, concluded Dr Alex Coutinho.
The entire TASO family celebrates and congratulates their very own member, Dr. Alex Countiho upon winning this great prize. TASO will continue to work with all partners for the realization of their Vision of “A world without HIV”