Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina confers Independence Award 2023 to Dr Firdausi Qadri

Dhaka, Bangladesh, 23 March 2023 - icddr,b’s senior scientist Dr Firdausi Qadri received country’s highest state award the Independence Award (Swadhinata Padak) 2023 today for her outstanding contributions to research and training. The Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh handed over the award to nine individuals and one institution at a programme at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium in recognition to their contributions to the country.

Dr Qadri was also honoured with the opportunity to give a speech among all the awardees this year. She took the opportunity to thank all her colleagues in the country and abroad, well-wishers of her four-decade-long career, icddr,b and its Executive Director Dr Tahmeed Ahmed.

In her address she said, “ Today is a very happy day for me for two special reasons, one - the Government of Bangladesh has honoured me with the country's highest state award, and two – I am receiving the award from the Honourable Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina who herself was awarded as the Vaccine Hero in 2019 by The Vaccine Alliance GAVI.”

Dr Qadri also thanked various government organisations and agencies as well as her family members saying, “It would not have been possible to work for the people of Bangladesh without all of your assistance.” She said, “Every award inspires me to work on something new but the honour that I received today is definitely an encouragement to contribute more to the country and the people.”

On the occasion, Dr Tahmeed Ahmed, Executive Director of icddr,b congratulated Dr Qadri saying, “This is a significant recognition of her tireless efforts towards advancing science and innovation in Bangladesh and beyond. Dr Qadri's achievements have been instrumental in shaping the field of research and training, and we are proud to have her as a part of our team at icddr,b”.

Dr Qadri is currently working as Acting Senior Director at icddr,b’s Infectious Diseases Division has made significant contributions to the development of vaccines for diseases such as cholera, typhoid, and others. Her work has earned her numerous awards and recognition, making her one of the most respected scientists in the world. In 2021, Dr Qadri was awarded with the Ramon Magsaysay Award, often cited as “Asia’s Nobel Prize”. She is also a laureate of the 2020 L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science Award. Dr Qadri was also awarded the Foundation Christophe et Rodolphe Mérieux’s annual scientific ‘Grand Prize’ in 2012.

It is noteworthy that icddr,b itself was honoured with the prestigious Independence Award in 2005. icddr,b extends heartfelt congratulations to Dr Firdausi Qadri and all the recipients of this year’s Independence Award.

Since 1977, the Government of Bangladesh honours individuals and institutions with the Independence Award every year ahead of Independence Day that is celebrated on March 26.