A GRATEFUL Young Tanzanian, Erick Venant said the 2019 Legacy Awards will always inspire him to give his best for the country and the world in fighting antimicrobial resistance.
Venant, aged 25, got himself in the annals of history last week after clinching the prestigious ‘Legacy Award’ in memory of Princess Diana.
He was presented with ‘The Legacy Award from Earl Spencer, Princess Diana’s brother at a glittering award ceremony in London, UK.
Venant was honoured for his work on combating Antimicrobial resistance. Committed to raise the awareness about this emerging global health threat, he orchestrated a nationwide antimicrobial resistance campaign in 23 administrative regions of Tanzania, which educated over 49,000 students and teachers in 114 secondary schools.
The soft-spoken boy started his initiatives while still a pharmacy student. His work successful brought the attention about resistance of microorganisms to life saving drugs.
As part of sustained efforts, he founded a non-governmental organization (RBA-INITIATIVE) which has special focus to curb antimicrobial resistance.
Venant’s work has inspired many people to take steps in combating antimicrobial resistance both at national and international level.
In a telephone interview with ‘Daily News’ from the UK, Venant, who hails from Geita, delighted on his achievement, saying it will lend him more impetus to further expedite his antimicrobial resistance campaign.
“It’s such an honour, I thank God for it. It is not only my achievement but also a recognition of young people’s contribution to the society which often goes unrecognised,” he said. “I believe antimicrobial resistance requires urgent, collective and sustained efforts.
We have more work to be done together, I am glad to receive the Legacy award just few months after awarded with the Diana award,” he added.
Erick was on June this year feted with the ‘Diana Award’ for a similar mission that saw him reach over six million people, with antimicrobial ambassadors continuing to spread the message within their communities.
As successful 2018-2019 Diana award recipient, Erick was automatically shortlisted for the Legacy award. His work has encouraged more people in health, agriculture and the community to pay more attention to the problem of antimicrobial resistance and their part in causing or addressing it.
During the award ceremony, the Tanzanian joined another 19 ‘Legacy Award’ winners from the UK, Canada, Malaysia, Nigeria, Nepal, and India who embodied the late Princess of Wales’ qualities of kindness, compassion and service. During the ceremony, Erick revelled on a moment of his lifetime after he hobnobbed with The Duke of Cambridge who spoke to him in Swahili.
“Apart from congratulating me for the award, the great Prince chatted to me in Swahili…I was honestly surprised by his meticulousness in uttering the words,” explained Erick.
Chief Executive of the Diana Award Ms Tessy Ojo said the awards celebrated young people for their selfless contribution to society, their courage and bravery.
“We believe that valuing young people means investing in them so we are delighted that our Legacy Award recipients will have access to our unique development programme ensuring they continue to be positive trailblazers for their generation.”
The Legacy Award was introduced in 2017, to celebrate the life of Diana, Princess of Wales in the 20th anniversary year since her death.
Taking place every two years, this unique accolade is the highest honour presented by the charity and celebrates the achievements of 20 exceptional young change makers from across the world who have demonstrated their ability to inspire and mobilise others to serve their communities, as Princess Diana herself.