During a ceremony at the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly in Geneva, awards were presented to a group of individuals from around the world for their outstanding contributions to public health. Many of the prizes awarded have been established by, or set up in memory of, an eminent public health professional.
2022 İhsan Doğramacı Family Health Foundation Prize was awarded to Professor Mehmet Haberal.
Professor Haberal is a pioneer in the fields of general surgery, transplantation, and burn treatment in Turkey and the world. Founder and President of Başkent University in Ankara, Turkey, and of the University’s Institute of Transplantation and Gene Sciences, he has helped establish a legal framework for organ transplantation, while enhancing its social acceptability through a holistic approach to family and community health, working with families of patients with terminal conditions and with religious leaders. His leadership and collaboration with national, regional and global institutions have led to the creation of numerous organ transplantation centers in Turkey and the training of many health professionals interested in this field of work.
When accepting the award, Professor Haberal said:
“I accept this honor with pride and humility because it is given by WHO and carries the name of Professor İhsan Doğramacı, a monumental international figure in child health. He was my visionary mentor who guided me through the long journey of becoming a transplant surgeon. He devoted his entire life and energy to the advancement of medicine in Turkey and beyond. A global citizen, he was a friend and lifelong supporter of WHO from Day one as he was a signatory to the Constitution of WHO when it was established in New York in 1946. Throughout my career, I have been inspired by the wisdom, energy and courage of this extraordinary leader and have followed his footsteps.”
In his speech, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General of the World Health Organization, said: “The 2022 public health prizes and awards celebrate people and institutions for successfully addressing a huge array of health challenges around the world. It is an honour for us to come together to acknowledge these true champions of health. I thank the foundations and institutions who so generally support these awards.”