Egyptian institution and Ugandan health advocate awarded 2013 UN population prize

Patients at Nakivale refugee health centre in Uganda. Photo: IRIN/Samuel Okiror

2 May 2013 – An academic institution associated with the Al-Azhar University in Egypt and a public health advocate from Uganda are this year’s recipients of the annual United Nations Population Award, the UN agency dealing with global population issues has announced.

The International Islamic Centre for Population Studies and Research and Dr. Jotham Musinguzi of Uganda, were chosen by the Population Award Committee, a body administered by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), in recognition of their contributions to improving public health.

Established by the General Assembly in 1981, the award is given annually to individuals and institutions for outstanding contributions to population concerns and their solutions.

Founded in 1975, the International Islamic Centre for Population Studies and Research conducts population studies and research in Muslim countries and provides accurate information about Islam and dispels misconceptions, particularly regarding population policies and programmes.

The Centre, which integrates family planning and bioethics, works in all parts of the Islamic world, and has been active in efforts to eradicate female genital mutilation/cutting.

Dr. Musinguzi is a strong advocate of reproductive health as a major component of social and economic development. He played a major role in drafting the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994, and was actively involved in negotiations on the anti-poverty targets known as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

He also played a major role in preparing the Maputo Plan of Action, which was adopted by the African Union in 2006 to help achieve the MDGs in Africa, and contributed to the success of the 2012 London Summit on Family Planning.

The 2013 Population Awards will be presented at UN Headquarters in New York in June.

Past winners include philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Iranian demographer Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi and Dame Billie Antoinette Miller, a former foreign minister of Barbados.

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