Award of Distinction
Dr Zulfiqar Ahmed Bhutta
Each year the University Awards Committee
considers nominations for the Award of Distinction. This award is
presented to “recognize publically and to honour outstanding persons who
have contributed constructively and consistently to the development of
This year, the University has the honour of presenting the Award of Distinction to Dr Zulifiqar Ahmed Bhutta.
The international health community, policy
makers, and the villagers in interior Sindh as well as other parts of
Pakistan, who have benefited from or impacted by his work, know Dr
Zulfiqar Bhutta as the researcher and thinker who has worked at the
grassroots level in disadvantaged parts of Pakistan to identify simple
solutions to daunting challenges in child health and survival in this
country and across the developing world. He has intertwined community
service delivery with sound research to identify the best strategies and
interventions for improved child health and mortality outcomes. His
research has received international acclaim in the areas of community
based perinatal care, interaction of nutrition and infections, child
diarrhea, micronutrient malnutrition, and maternal and child health
policy. He heads several research teams working on issues of maternal,
newborn and child survival and nutrition globally and regionally.
As a scientist, Dr. Bhutta has worked beyond
exploring new knowledge to its practical application. He engages policy
makers in the developing world, and the international public health
community to understand the evidence behind health issues and to arm
them with concrete strategies that can be applied to improve maternal
and child health in their jurisdictions.
Dr. Bhutta comes from a family of physicians
and educationists. He completed his undergraduate medical studies at
the Khyber Medical College, University of Peshawar and obtained his PhD
from the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He is a Fellow of the Royal
College of Physicians (Edinburgh), the Royal College of Paediatrics and
Child Health (London), American Academy of Pediatrics and the Pakistan
Academy of Sciences.
His contributions to child health in Pakistan
and at an international level have earned him several awards, including
the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz for his contributions towards education and
research, the President of Pakistan Gold Medal for contributions to
Child Health in Pakistan and the Outstanding Paediatrician of Asia award
by the Asia Pacific Pediatric Association. In 2009, Dr. Bhutta was
awarded the inaugural Global Child Health award by the Program for
Global Paediatric Research for outstanding contributions to Global Child
Health and Research. He was recently elected an honorary Fellow of the
American Academy of Pediatrics for contributions to international child
health. Dr. Bhutta was the first recipient of the Aga Khan University
Distinguished Faculty Award for Research.
Dr Bhutta has been a part of AKU since 1986.
He is currently the Noordin Noormahomed Sheriff Endowed Professor and
Founding Chair of the Division of Women and Child Health at AKU. He was
designated a Distinguished National Professor of the Government of
Pakistan in 2007. He is also the Dean of the faculty of Paediatrics of
the College of Physicians & Surgeons, Pakistan and the Chairman of
the National Research Ethics Committee of the Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Bhutta was instrumental in the formation of the Division of Women
and Child Health at Aga Khan University that combined various service
delivery and research programs into a single and cohesive framework for
improved health outcomes. He has also contributed to the foundation for a
Centre of Excellence in Women and Child Health at Aga Khan University.
Dr Bhutta has published three books, 40 book
chapters, and over 225 indexed publications to date. He is a frequent
writer in the Lancet, the leading medical and health research journal in
the world. His work serves as the launching pad for additional research
in child health and child survival. Dr. Bhutta was a part of the Global
Independent Commission on Education of Health Professionals for the
21st Century. The recommendations of this Commission are considered
highly influential in reforming medical curricula around the world.
These have also served as the basis for the development of Aga Khan
University’s undergraduate medical and nursing curricula for East
Ladies and gentleman, on behalf of the
Chancellor and members of the Board of Trustees, I am pleased to present
Dr Zulfiqar Bhutta with the Aga Khan University Award of