Message By Dr. Alex Godwin COUTINHO

 I am overjoyed and overwhelmed at receiving the news of my becoming the second Hideyo Noguchi laureate for the Medical Services category for 2013. This recognition by the Japanese government and the Japanese people honouring the memory of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi represents the highest recognition for a medical doctor in Africa.

 The life of Dr. Hideyo Noguchi is an inspiration that needs to be told over and over again to the world and I pledge to do this. I have practiced medicine and public health in Africa focusing primarily on HIV, TB and Malaria for the past 30 years and today this prize makes all the sleepless nights and stressful days worthwhile.

 This prize would not have been possible without the collaboration, trust, support and partnerships with people living with HIV, my teachers, fellow health professionals as well as the wonderful institutions like TASO and IDI that I have had the privilege to lead. I wish to acknowledge them and give thanks and respect to all of them.

 This prize now places an obligation on me to uphold the memory of Dr.Hideyo Noguchi as well as to invest this prize into further improving the health of the people of Africa and I pledge to work tirelessly to make this happen.

 I thank the people of Japan and its leadership for the vision to honor the memory of your noble son while inspiring those of us who will continue with his work in Africa.

 Dr Coutinho standing in the HIV clinic of IDI.
Dr Coutinho with the staff of IDI looking at the chest X-ray of a patient co-infected with HIV and Tuberculosis.
Dr Coutinho mentoring a joint meeting.
Dr Coutinho showing laboratory staff how to detect malaria parasites and categorize the malaria strain.untry.