Sr. Miriam Duggan Receives Award from University College Cork
On 21st November 2011, University College Cork (UCC) honoured a number of its distinguished graduates. Outstanding achievers in business, medicine and science were honoured at the Alumni Achievement Awards Ceremony and UCC also honoured a graduate with the Alumnus Award for Voluntary Service to the University.
Among those honoured was Sr. Miriam Duggan, our Congregational Leader, who received the Medical Graduate Award.
UCC President, Dr. Michael Murphy, presents Sr. Miriam
Below is the Award citation given by Professor John Higgins, Head of College, College of Medicine & Health, UCC.
Sr Miriam Duggan
Limerick native, Sr Miriam Duggan graduated from UCC with a degree in Medicine in 1964. She studied Obstetrics in Birmingham, receiving her MRCOG in 1969 and FRCOG in 1982. Sr Miriam is a member of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa. She has dedicated her life to combating the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa and is often referred to as 'The MotherTeresa of Africa'.
Sr Miriam spent thirty years at St Francis' Hospital, Nsambya, Kampala in Uganda, first as Head of Department and in later years as Medical Superintendent where she was also involved in the training of midwives and doctors.
In response to the HIV/AIDS pandemic which became manifest in 1987, when people were becoming sick and dying, she helped establish clinics, mobile home based care programmes to care for the many people ill with HIV/AIDS and to help the many orphans. She founded Youth Alive in an effort to address the root causes for the spread of HIV and to help young people to make responsible choices and avoid getting AIDS. The Youth Alive programme provides ongoing education regarding sexual behaviour, drugs, self-esteem and constructive life choices by providing members with a strong sense of belonging and the necessary support that they need to oppose the negative forces and pressures all around them. This prevention programme was very successful in Uganda in reducing the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, causing a cynical world to sit up and take notice. The Programme has now been extended to 21 African countries. In 1998 she transferred to Southern Africa where she continued to establish care and prevention programmes.
Sr Miriam has received many awards for her work. She was honoured by Harvard University, Church of Uganda and the Templeton Foundation for pioneering behaviour based HIV prevention in 2006. In 2008, she was presented with a recognition award from the President and Parliament of Uganda.
Sr Miriam has also been involved in the Catholic Charismatic renewal and the Christian Doctors' Guild. She is Congregational Leader of the Franciscan Missionary Sisters for Africa and was President of the Irish Missionary Union from 2004-2009.