A ZAMBIAN-born highly accomplished and qualified medical proffessor, Alimuddin Zumla, who was honoured with the First Division, Order of Distinguished Service to be Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service on Independence Day, has dedicated it to all members of staff at the University Teaching Hospital (UTH) and the Ministry of Health.
Prof Zumla is professor of infectious diseases and international health at the University College London Medical School, and consultant physician in infectious diseases at University College Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
He is co-director of the UTH-University College London TB/HIV/AIDS research and training project with Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Peter Mwaba, and led the project voluntarily for 21 years.
He is registered as a specialist with the General Medical Council (United Kingdom) and Royal College of Physicians of London and has three specialties in general (internal) medicine, infectious diseases and clinical immunology.
Prof Zumla is internationally renowned for his outstanding and extensive outputs in infectious diseases, tropical medicine, with a focus on TB, HIV/AIDS and other respiratory diseases.
He was awarded the prestigious World Health Organisation (WHO) STOP TB Partnership Kochon Prize and medal in 2011, and the University of Amsterdam Spinoza Prize for his scientific work.
His output in research had led to improvements in care for patients worldwide and has trained numerous African scientists and health personnel at all levels.
Born on May 15, 1955, in then Fort Jameson (Chipata), he pursued his early education at Lotus Primary School and Prince Philip Secondary School (now Kamwala Secondary School) in Lusaka, while he did his medical training at the University of Zambia (UTH)'s School of Medicine.
He has had a star-studded career and has trained numerous African health personnel from several sub-Saharan African countries.
Many of Prof Zumla's Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students have taken up leadership positions back in their home countries.
On Wednesday, President Michael Sata awarded Prof Zumla with first division, Order of Distinguished Service to be Grand Commander of the Order of Distinguished Service.
However, Prof Zumla was not around to personally receive the award due to ill health but he requested his long-time fellow Zambian and good friend Ayyub Nagarseth to receive the award on his behalf.
Prof Zumla said in a statement issued yesterday by Mr Nagarseth that he was delighted and humbled by the gesture of the Head of State to award him.
"I am absolutely delighted but at the same time very humbled to receive this honour. I regret not being able to attend personally to accept the award due to ill health," he said.
Prof Zumla said he had dedicated the award to all members of staff at UTH and the Ministry of Health in Zambia.
He was grateful to members of the research and clinical staff at the ministry and at UTH for their continued efforts in the fight against TB, HIV/AIDS and other related diseases.
Prof Zumla thanked Dr Mwaba for helping develop their joint health programme on TB and respiratory infections into one of the best in the world.
Prof Zumla has been honoured with 32 awards and prizes.
He has about 18 honorary professorships, 11 memberships of committees and advisory expert groups, guest editor and editorial board member for about 11 memberships of editorial boards and editorial roles.