2021 Helen Clark-JoPPP Award for UKZN Professor
Professor Fatima Suleman of the Discipline of Pharmaceutical Sciences has been awarded the prestigious 2021 Helen Clark-Journal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice (JoPPP) award. Named after the honourable Helen Elizabeth Clark, former New Zealand Prime Minister, the award recognises the talents of exceptional individuals who are making a significant contribution to pharmaceutical policy and practice.
Suleman is Director for the World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Pharmaceutical Policy and Evidence Based Practice at UKZN, a former Prince Claus Chair of Development and Equity: Affordable (Bio)Therapeutics for Public Health, Utrecht University, The Netherlands (September 2016-2018), and Global Practitioner in Residence - College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, Drake University, USA (August-December 2015). She has served on a number of WHO committees and groups over the years in senior roles including as chairperson, and been a technical advisor on pharmaceutical policy for a number of countries.
Her interests lie in pharmaceutical policy and systems strengthening and she has served in a number of ministerial appointments in South Africa and abroad. Her expertise was requested for technical advice to the Pharmaceutical Service Section in the Tanzanian Ministry of Health and Social Welfare for capacity development of the National Essential Medicine List Committee (November 2015-2017); the Malaysian Ministry of Health for capacity building on price setting mechanisms and framework development for medicine price regulation (July-December 2016) and stakeholder engagement plans for healthcare financing strategies (January-June 2017) with regard to pricing and reimbursement in Ethiopia (January 2017); for the WHO’s Expert Committee on Selection and Use of Essential Medicines (2017; 2019; 2021); to Rwanda on developing and implementing pricing policies for medicines (November 2018-June 2019; 2021); and to Sri Lanka on pricing policies for medicines (10-15 June 2019).
Apart from her strong research thrust and a host of publications in prestigious journals, she also received Distinguished Teacher Awards from UKZN, the Academy of Pharmaceutical Sciences of South Africa, the South African Association of Health Educationalists Educator of the Year and a Teaching Advancement at University Fellowships for conceptualising and implementing online Master’s programmes in Pharmacy and Health Sciences.
Through a Norwegian Programme for Capacity Development in Higher Education and Research for Development grant, Suleman facilitated the development of online/blended master’s programmes in Mozambique and Malawi and was involved in the Medical Education Partnership Initiative grant and the African Forum for Research and Education in Health, leading the development of a regional learning management system for inter-professional training and networking.
Honourable Helen Elizabeth Clark said, ‘Many congratulations to all the award winners. With the increasing use of medicines globally, all winners have contributed significantly to increasing our understanding of different dimensions including policy, access, and rationale use.’
Professor Zaheer-Ud-Din Babar, chair of the Judging Panel and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal said, ‘These are exceptional individuals and their efforts have promoted in-depth understanding in areas related to medicine use, access, and pharmacy services.’
Professor Busisiwe Ncama, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Health Sciences remarked, ‘Congratulations on this wonderful achievement, this is wonderful news for UKZN. May you keep growing from strength to strength.’
Words: MaryAnn Francis