Prof Abdool Karim recalls helping lead SA's Covid-19 fight in new book
Renowned infectious diseases epidemiologist Prof Salim Abdool Karim has captured what it is like to be catapulted into a prominent position on the front lines of the Covid-19 pandemic response in his book Standing Up for Science: A Voice of Reason.
The book, published by Pan Macmillan South Africa, will be launched at Durban's International Convention Centre on June 26.
Karim, the director of the Centre for the Aids Programme of Research in South Africa (Caprisa) in Durban, became the voice of reason for millions of South Africans when he headed the Covid-19 ministerial advisory committee.
He spent endless hours promoting evidence-based prevention and combating misinformation on Covid-19 vaccines.
Pan Macmillan described Standing Up for Science as Karim’s personal, behind-the-scenes experience of the first three years of the pandemic.
“It is an inspiring and informative account of the events that transpired in 2020 up to now and shares the groundbreaking and globally recognised achievements made through science in a battle against an overwhelming and terrible disease.
“No-one expected the devastation and disruption Covid-19 would cause in communities and industries across the world and there were many complexities and challenges, some concerning international co-operation integral to responding to the pandemic, as well as controversies in the science to policy processes to ensure the best decisions possible were being made.
“But with the guidance of leading experts such as Prof Karim, science and its power to help tackle some of the world’s biggest problems proved the most valuable in helping steer the international response to Covid-19.”
The book is said to be “more than just a personal and captivating narrative about the events that transpired during and after the pandemic — the intricacies of translating science into policy; the international linkages and co-ordination of effective Covid response plans and the important lessons learnt that will better prepare leaders and nations for future epidemics”.
Peter Piot, EU chief adviser on epidemics, said the book is a “must-read to understand the complex and vital interaction between science and politics by one of the world’s thought leaders in science and health, sharing precious, first-hand experience during the pandemic”.
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