Tuberculosis (TB)

WHO Coordinator honoured for her outstanding work on TB


14 November 2012 | Kuala Lumpur | WHO Stop TB Department Coordinator, Dr Karin Weyer, has been awarded the prestigious 2012 Karel Styblo Public Health Prize for her work on tuberculosis (TB). Dr Weyer who hails from South Africa, heads the Stop TB Department's Laboratories, Diagnostics and Drug Resistance team. She was honoured at the opening ceremony of the 43rd Union World Conference at Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia.

The Director of the WHO Stop TB Department, Dr Mario Raviglione, said the award was well deserved: "This is a major achievement and honour for my colleague, Dr Weyer, and for the Stop TB Department. This award reflects her solid leadership in the area of laboratories, diagnostics and MDR-TB. On behalf of the department, I would like to offer my congratulations to Dr Weyer. "

The Karel Styblo Public Health Prize is awarded annually and acknowledges contributions to tuberculosis control or lung health over a period of 10 years or more.

Dr Weyer's main area of work at WHO has been focused on the development of new policies and strategies for universal access to diagnosis, care and treatment of MDR-TB, new TB diagnostics, and laboratory procedures and standards; monitoring of progress in scale up of laboratory capacity and MDR-TB response in countries; and coordination of technical assistance for the diagnosis, care and treatment of MDR-TB through partner agencies using the GLI, GLC, TBTEAM and WHO regional networks. She coordinates the Global Laboratory Initiative (GLI), a network of international partners focused on accelerated and expanded TB laboratory capacity development aimed at ensuring universal access to quality-assured diagnostic services for all TB patients. Her unit also hosts the secretariat of the MDR-TB Working Group of the Stop TB Partnership. ‪

Prior to joining WHO, Dr Weyer's career spanned 25 years of TB research at the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC), covering the full spectrum of research (basic, epidemiological, operational). She managed and directed several national projects on drug-resistant and HIV-associated TB, as well as the SAMRC biosafety level 3 animal research and mycobacteriological laboratories. During this time she served on the GLC (also as GLC Chair), and the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group (STAG) for TB.