The Karel Styblo Public Health Prize

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The Karel Styblo Public Health Prize

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The Karel Styblo Public Health Prize acknowledges a health worker or a community organisation for contributions to tuberculosis control over a period of 10 years or more. This prize is named in honour of Dr Karel Styblo, Director of Scientific Activities at The Union from 1979 to 1991, who played a central role in developing The Union TB control model that was later branded by WHO as DOTS (directly observed treatment, short course).

Nominations are paused for this prize until further notice.

The award is presented at the Union World Conference on Lung Health and consists of a full fellowship to attend the conference (including full delegate badge, travel, accommodation and per diem), US$ 2,000 and a certificate.

  • Honorees may request that the fellowship portion of the award be used for a delegate who would not otherwise be able to attend the conference.
  • Honorees unable to attend the conference may designate a colleague to accept the award on their behalf. 


2020: Dr Edward A Nardell was the winner for 2020, in recognition of his contribution to public health and being a tireless advocate and educator in the field of TB control.

2019: The winner for 2019, Noleen Dirkse, was recognised for her outstanding contribution to her local community of Knysna in the Western Cape of South Africa, where she does all she can to assist people diagnosed with HIV, AIDS and TB, and is a TB survivor herself.

2018: This year’s prize went to Oksana Ponomarenko for making an outstanding contribution to TB control on a local, national and global level, with a focus on hard-to-treat, drug-resistant TB among vulnerable patients (Russia).

2017: Dr Rohit Sarin was honoured for his key contribution to DOTS and MDR-TB treatment both nationally and internationally

2016: Japan Anti-Tuberculosis Association (JATA) was honoured for their contribution and commitment to tuberculosis control for more than 70 years.

2015: Prof Stephen M Graham (Australia) is Professor of International Child Health at the University of Melbourne (Australia) and has served as a senior consultant in child lung health for The Union since 2008. He is widely recognised as an expert in child TB and has been chair of the Stop TB Partnership’s Child TB Subgroup since 2011, as well as serving on several WHO taskforces. The author of numerous publication, he recently played a leadership role in the development of the Roadmap for Childhood TB: towards zero deaths (2013).

2014: Dr Maarten van Cleeff (The Netherlands) is the TB CARE I Project Director at KNCV Tuberculosis Foundation. He started his international career in Tanzania, working with the National TB and Leprosy Programme  from  1981 to 1990. Under the guidance of Dr Karel Styblo, he and his  colleagues played a key role in the implementation of a countrywide TB programme, using short-course chemotherapy. This programmatic field model became the basis for the global TB control model that has been known since the 1990s as the DOTS strategy. He continues to contribute to the international policy agenda in different forums

2013: Tomsk Oblast Tuberculosis and Pulmonology Medical Centre (Russian Federation) received the Styblo Award for piloting the use of DOTS-Plus (Directly Observed Treatment, Short Course) to combat multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB).

2012: Dr Karin Weyer (South Africa) is the Coordinator of Laboratories, Diagnostics and Drug Resistance (LDR) at the WHO Stop TB Department in Geneva, Switzerland where she directs a multi-disciplinary team responsible for developing new policies on TB diagnostics and laboratory procedures, norms and standards.

2011: No prize was awarded.

2010: The Association for Social Development of Pakistan was honoured for pioneering a model collaboration with Pakistan's National TB Programme that has had a significant impact on the country's efforts to combat TB.

2009: Prof Digambar Behera (India) was honoured for a career spanning more than 30 years in patient care, research, teaching and advocating for lung health.

2008: Chief Austin Arinze Obiefuna (Ghana) was honoured for his extensive work as a TB and HIV advocate, including founder and President of the Afro Global Alliance International, National Coordinator of the Stop TB Partnership Ghana and National Coordinator of the International AIDS Candlelight Memorial.

2007: Ms Lucy Chesire (Kenya)

2006: No prize was awarded.

2005: Dr Liu Jianjun (China)

2004: Dr Jaap Broekmans (The Netherlands)

2003: Prof Oumou Bah Sow (Guinea Conakry)

2002: Dr Anne Horgheim (Norway)

2001: Dr Akihiro Seita (Japan)

2000: Dr G R Khatri (India)

1999: Prof Martin Gninafon (Benin)

1998: Dr Dirgh Singh Bam (Nepal)

1997: Dr Gombogaram Tsogt (Mongolia)