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Japanese Hideyo Noguchi Award: Dr. Winner of Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum



The third prize Hideyo Noguchi is presented to Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum on research on Ebola and other deadly viruses, as well as his efforts to train several people to combat these diseases.

In July 2006, the Japanese government set up the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Award for Dr. Hideyo Noguchi (1876-1928), a sponsor of African medical research. The prize is awarded every five years. The first was awarded in 2008 and the second in 2013. It includes two categories: medical research that respects the individual and medical services that respect a person or organization. The recipient won $ 1.18 million.

Over 50 years of medical research

Born in 1942 in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum has a medical degree from Lovanium University (now Kinshasa University) and a doctorate in medicine / virology from the Rega Institute. medical research from the Louvain Catholic University (Belgium). He is currently Director-General of the National Institute for Biomedical Research (INRB) in DRC and Professor of Medical Microbiology / Virology at the University of Kinshasa, Faculty of Medicine. For more than fifty years, Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum has been developing in the field of medical research and training in the DRC. In 1976 he discovered the existence of an unknown disease in his own country. He collected blood and tissue samples in unsafe conditions and handed them to the Tropical Medicine Institute in Belgium, where the Ebola virus was located. Since 1976, he has been at the forefront of the fight against this disease and a number of others by promoting vaccine research, developing antisera treatment and training new generation scouts and Congolese laboratory scientists.

Country scientist

1976 Dr. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum went to a small village in northern California, Yambuku, in the former province of Ecuador, where the first Ebola outbreak occurred. has been notified and has warned. Since then, he has worked as an expert in the fight against Ebola. In 1995, he was appointed Chairman of the Scientific and International Epidemic Epidemic Disease Committee in Kikwita (Western DRC) and conducted an extensive study of this epidemic, including reviewing hospital records and interviewing survivors. He found that Ebola outbreaks in Kikwit were caused by an infection caused by the disease. As a means of controlling the disease, he supported the isolation of patients in the quarantine service, the distribution of protective equipment to healthcare workers and family members, the dissemination of health education materials, the burial of the deceased with a trained team. Activities that have proved effective. In addition, he presented a vision of social cultures aimed at preventing the transmission of Ebola. Jean-Jacques Muyembe-Tamfum admitted that traditional funeral practice is one of the main causes of disease transmission in society. Later, he explained to local leaders about the transmission of disease and provided families with gloves and protective equipment. These measures, introduced under his leadership, proved effective when the DRC controlled the epidemic within three months. Through this experience, he has been a consultant for the World Health Organization, who participated in the fight against the Ebola and Marburg epidemics in other countries.

International investment

Dr. Muyembe-Tamfum's scientific contribution is not limited to Ebola, but also includes a wide range of diseases. The doctor, the director of INRB, has strengthened the capacity of this institute in various fields. It has developed an infrastructure for research and monitoring of vaccine-preventable diseases such as polio, measles and yellow fever, zoonoses such as monkeys and viral haemorrhagic fever, as well as acute respiratory infections such as tuberculosis and antibiotic resistance to enterobacteria. He received the Christophe-Mérieux Prize from the Institut de France in 2015 for his great achievements and contributions to infectious disease research in Africa.

Great trainer

Muyembe-Tamfum's contribution to education is also significant. After more than forty years of service at the University of Kinshasa Medical Faculty, he has trained more than a thousand new researchers in the DRC. Many of its graduates now play an important role in the fight against infectious diseases worldwide. He also helped to establish a Kinshasa public health school.

Muyembe-Tamfum has established networks and established international partnerships outside Africa, such as the International Franceville Medical Research Center (Gabon); National Institute for Infectious Diseases (South Africa); University of Zambia Veterinary Medicine School; Noguchi Memorial Medical Research Institute (Ghana); Antwerp Institute of Tropical Medicine (Belgium); University of Montpellier Development Research Institute (France); Robert-Koch Institute, Berlin (Germany); US Center for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, USA; National Health Institutes (USA), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); Canadian Public Health Agency and Japanese Research Institutions, including the National Institute for Infectious Diseases (Tokyo), Hokkaido University (Sapporo); Nagasaki University and National Center for Global Health and Medicine (Tokyo).


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