Three new Union Honorary Members named
At the General Assembly in Cape Town, three longstanding Union members received Honorary Member status. This lifetime status is granted to individuals who have become distinguished through active participation in The Union's activities and the fulfillment of its goals. Honorary Members serve as informal advisors to The Union.
Prof Nulda Beyers (South Africa)
Prof Nulda Beyers, with her husband Prof Robert Gie, started the Desmond Tutu TB Centre at Stellenbosch University in 1990 with the dream of helping people with TB. Under her guidance as Director, the centre has grown to having a staff of over 400 conducting wide-ranging research in TB and HIV. A professor in the Department of Paediatrics and Child Heath, Prof Beyers and her husband are also credited with bringing attention to the neglected area of childhood TB.
Prof Beyers has received many awards and honours for her TB research, including the Gold award from the South African Medical Research Council (SAMRC). She has published close on 200 book chapters, supplements and manuscripts and served as Editor in Chief (tuberculosis) for The Union’s International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease from 2003 to 2010.
She believes that an essential element of research is empowerment of communities and building capacity in Africa and encourages her research team to spend five per cent of their time on activities, such as getting involved with the care of orphans.
On accepting her award, Prof Beyers quoted the Kenya-born, Somali-British poet Warsan Shire to loud applause from the auditorium:
"later that night
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
and whispered where does it hurt?
Prof Beyers retired from Stellenbosch University in November 2015, but will continue to teach and do research.
Prof Donald A Enarson (Canada)
Prof Donald A Enarson was made an Honorary Member in recognition of his distinguished career, including 18 years as The Union’s Director of Scientific Activities, decades of service as an editor of the International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease and his role as founding editor of Public Health Action.
Prof Enarson played a central role in overseeing the expansion of The Union’s TB technical assistance, education and research activities to include other major public health challenges, including HIV, tobacco control, asthma, and child lung health. Under his leadership, The Union TB clinical trials Study A and Study C were completed, and he fostered the growth of operational research.
Prof Enarson has published more than 20 books on issues such as tuberculosis, lung cancer and asthma, as well as hundreds of chapters and articles. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada; a Member through Distinction of the Faculty of Public Health Medicine, Royal Colleges of Physicians, UK; and a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh.
In 2013, Prof Enarson was awarded The Union Medal, The Union’s highest honour, for his outstanding contributions to TB and lung health.
Prof H Simon Schaaf (South Africa)
Prof H Simon Schaaf is one of the world’s leading experts on MDR-TB in children. He was am early pioneers in the study of TB drug resistance, focusing on child TB diagnosis and surveillance. His research pointed up the need to carry out drug-susceptibility testing on children with culture-confirmed TB and has led to a greater understanding of how to handle dosages of first- and second-line TB drugs for children.
Schaaf is a Professor of Paediatrics and Child Health at the Stellenbosch University and Desmond Tutu TB Centre. He treats children at the Tygerberg Hospital, Brooklyn Chest Hospital and through outreach programmes in Khayelitsha and Scottsdene near Kraaifontein, as well as consulting on cases all over the world. Author of more than 200 papers, he is chief co-editor of widely used textbook, Tuberculosis: A Comprehensive Clinical Reference. In 2014, he received the National Order of Mapungubwe (silver), South Africa’s highest honour, which recognises citizens for excellence and exceptional achievement to the benefit of South Africa and beyond.
A longtime Union member, Prof Schaaf is currently the chair of the Adult & Child Lung Health Scientific Section and represents the section on the Board of Directors.