Prof. Sarah Cleaveland

University of Glasgow, United Kingdom, January 2020

Prof. Sarah Cleaveland is well-known in her field for her passion and commitment to saving people from disease. She is the founder of the Afya Foundation and professor of Comparative Epidemiology, Institute of Biodiversity, Animal Health and Comparative Medicine, University of Glasgow. Projects led by Sarah have demonstrated that the transmission of rabies could be controlled and eventually eliminated by vaccinating domestic dogs in the Serengeti, protecting wildlife, domestic animals and local villagers.

“I’m deeply honored to receive this award, which reflects the work of so many people committed to eliminating rabies from the world,” says Prof. Cleaveland. “However, I’m baffled that more than 100 year after Louis Pasteur developed the first rabies vaccines and after extensive research to show that rabies elimination is feasible, how can it be true that so many people are still suffering such horrifying deaths from a disease that is so preventable? The veterinary profession has many responsibilities, but we have to find a way to scale up mass dog vaccination. What can be more important than protecting millions of the most vulnerable people in the world from such a terrible disease?

We are grateful for Sara’s life-long dedication to support the rabies control efforts. As she says herself: “My contributions have been very much part of a large team effort. I hope that this award will provide an opportunity to recognise that much of the work and progress has been and will be made by African scientists and field teams.”