The prestigious Donald Mackay Medal has been awarded to Professor Ahmed H. Fahal. The medal is awarded annually, in alternating years by the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) and by the American Society of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene (ASTMH), during the Annual Meeting which this year was held at the Royal College of Physicians in London. The medal is given for outstanding work in tropical health, especially relating to improvements in the health of rural or urban workers in the tropics.
During the Annual meeting the Chalmers Medal, the Sir Rickard Christophers Medal, the Donald Mackay Medal and the Emerging Leaders Award were awarded to key specialists. This year’s meeting focused on the intersection between the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) with non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Notable international academics and professors in infectious diseases from different areas of research gathered together over two days to discuss the impact caused by this intersection of disciplines.
Professor Ahmed H. Fahal is a professor of surgery at the University of Khartoum where he has set up and directs the Mycetoma Research Centre. This was the first Donald Mackay Medal to be awarded for fungal related work.
During his plenary talk at the conference, Professor Fahal gave a very interesting insight into why mycetoma is such a unique disease and explained the challenges it faces as a neglected tropical disease, and why eumycetoma (fungal mycetoma) is so difficult to treat.
GAFFI would like to congratulate Professor Fahal for his excellent work in the field of mycology research and for paving the way to a better understanding of fungal related diseases as well as future development in this discipline. We hope that by bringing attention to fungal infections during occasions like the RSTMH annual meeting, and by acknowledging outstanding work from specialists such as Professor Ahmed H. Fahal, more light will be shed on fungal diseases, a neglected medical area suffering from a lack of funding that still results in over 1 million deaths annually.
By 2025, GAFFI’s goal is to diagnose 95% of people with serious fungal diseases and treat 95% of them. We are confident that by raising awareness of the seriousness and devastating consequences of fungal infections through events such as the RSTMH meeting we will achieve this goal and save millions of lives.
Professor Fahal receiving the Donald Mackay Medal from the RSTMH.