Yemeni doctor becomes first-ever winner of women's medical prize

Yemeni doctor becomes first-ever winner of women's medical prize
2 min read
21 Apr, 2017
Dr Dhekra Annuzaili picks up prestigious prize for efforts in combating neglected tropical diseases in Yemen.
Dr Dhekra Annuzaili [R] became the first-ever recipient of the award [WiFA]

A Yemeni doctor has won an international medical award for her efforts in combatting neglected tropical diseases in war-torn Yemen.

Forty-nine year-old Dr Dhekra Annuzaili was named as the first-ever winner of the Women in Focus Exceptional Service Award during a ceremony in the Swiss city of Geneva.

She was awarded the prize at the Women in Focus Awards, a celebration of the crucial role played by women in the fight against tropical diseases in Yemen.

"I am thrilled to be the first recipient of this award and I am collecting it on behalf of all of the women working hard to fight NTDs in Yemen. My main aim is to reach children and contribute to the improvement of their overall health," Dr Annuzaili said.

"It might sound strange, but I believe I'm lucky to be working in such a difficult field, under difficult conditions. It's completely worth it to see positive improvements in the health of children, students and the community as a whole."

Having graduated from medical school in 1991, Dr Annuzaili applied her skills to maternal and child health development in Yemen and worked to improve health and nutritional programmes across the country.

She moved on to the field on neglected tropical diseases in 2009.

Hailing from Yemen - the Middle East's most impoverished country and with one of the world's lowest rankings of gender equality - Dr Annuzaili overcame numerous hurdles throughout her career.

Her support has allowed Yemen's National Schistosomiasis Control Program to edge closer to controlling schistosomiasis and intestinal worms.

She also works as an advisor on health and development issues for the United Nations, USAID, World Bank and local NGOs in Yemen.