Two doctors due to receive WHO awards
Two Thai doctors will be recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) for their contributions to the medical field, according to the Public Health Ministry.
Dr Rungrueng Kitphati, ministry spokesman, said the WHO's executive board plans to award Dr Prakit Vathesatogkit, executive secretary of the Action on Smoking and Health Foundation, with the Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health.
Meanwhile, Dr Paisan Ruamviboonsuk, an ophthalmologist specialising in retina/vitreous treatment at Rajavithi Hospital, has won the Sasakawa Health Prize, he said.
Dr Rungrueng said Dr Prakit, 78, is a multi-award winning doctor who has contributed to the country's public health sector and is widely recognised for being behind the smoking ban in public places.
Dr Paisan, meanwhile, is known for his devotion to curing blindness, especially in patients who have diabetic retinopathy, a leading cause of blindness in Thailand, he said.
Dr Paisan has developed a method to detect blindness through retina photos, he said. He also has a project to train public health volunteers to detect retinal diseases in remote areas lacking access to doctors.
His project led to a free service by the Public Health Ministry to treat patients who may be blind due to diabetes, he said, adding his contribution has led to a reduction of blindness.
An award ceremony will be held during the World Health Assembly in May in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health was set up for those who benefit public health while the Sasakawa Health Prize was created and funded by the Japan Shipbuilding Industry Foundation and Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation to honour medical service innovations.