By Maryam Raafat from Bahrain
The Board of Trustees of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity in Bahrain has announced Nepali ophthalmologist, Sanduk Ruit, to be the winner of the award in its 5th 2021-2022 edition.
Award winners are given a cash prize of $1 million, a certificate of merit and a gold medal in recognition for their work.
The Isa Award for Service to Humanity was launched in February 2009.
Malaysian physician Jamila Mahmood (2013), Indian social worker and educationist Achyut Samant (2015), Children’s Cancer Hospital in Egypt (2017) and Edhi Foundation in Pakistan (2019) are the previous recipients of the Isa Award.
His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al Khalifa, the representative of the King of Bahrain, Sheikh Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa, and chairman of the Board of Trustees of the award, said the award reaffirms Bahrain’s belief in the spirit of tolerance and coexistence.
“It also reaffirms the kingdom’s readiness to reveal and introduce pioneers in the fields of humanitarian work and honour them based on the principles on which it was established,” Sheikh Al Khalifa said at a press briefing in Bahraini capital Manama last week.
Attending the briefing was also a host of Bahraini officials and dignitaries, including Ali Abdullah Al Khalifa, secretary-general of the Isa Award for Service to Humanity.
The Board of Trustees of the award looked during this edition into the record of 139 candidates from different counties.
The members of the award worked hard and tirelessly, together with the members of the award’s Secretariat and Arbitration Committee, to pick the most worthy winner.
The candidates included international personalities with distinguished expertise and scholarly, legal, and academic competence in research and investigation.
Only Five candidates met the award’s criteria. These five candidates were selected for further consideration.
The board then decided to offer the award to Dr Ruit after thorough consideration of the files of all five candidates.
Dr Ruit gained international acclaim for developing a novel approach to treating cataract, a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye.
He also succeeded in creating a new implantable lens that could be produced at a much lower price than its counterparts, allowing him to complete cataract surgery in less time.
Cataract can be surgically removed through tiny incisions in as little as five minutes, and replaced with an inexpensive artificial lens.
By not charging his low-income patients, Dr Ruit was able to save the eyesight of almost 120,000 people who would have otherwise gone blind.
Dr Ruit has trained more than 650 doctors, teaching them to cure preventable blindness. He is the recipient of the Padma Shri Award by the GoI, The National Order of Merit of Bhutan as well as the Ramon Magsaysay Award. Prime Minister of Nepal Pushpa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’ congratulated senior ophthalmologist Ruit for receiving prestigious Bahrain’s ISA award.
The Isa Award for Service to Humanity was launched to raise public awareness of remarkable humanitarian efforts around the world.
It also aims to encourage and motivate individuals to take part in such efforts.