The Board of Healthcare Funders (BHF) has conferred its Titanium Lifetime Achiever Award 2022 on renowned philanthropist Dr Imtiaz Sooliman. The award is in recognition of the outstanding humanitarian work done by the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the non-governmental disaster relief group he founded.
Dr Sooliman was presented with this prestigious accolade at the 21st Annual BHF Conference currently being held in Cape Town.
The BHF Titanium Lifetime Achiever Award acknowledges and celebrates an individual who has, over several years, made outstanding and exceptional contributions to the healthcare industry to promote, grow, improve and advance the healthcare sector and the wellbeing of the society it serves.
The award was presented to Dr Sooliman in recognition of the impact of his work across communities. Since he founded the Gift of the Givers Foundation 30 years ago, the organisation has conducted community outreach programmes and provided humanitarian assistance to people in need in over 44 countries to the tune of over R3,8 billion.
The Gift of the Givers has offered a variety of help to various communities in need, and this has ranged from drilling boreholes to provide clean drinking water to hospitals and drought-stricken communities, to producing enriched pellets for sheep feed in the Sutherland area where farmers have battled to keep livestock fed.
The organisation has supplied thousands of people in South Africa with food and medical supplies since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. To date, the organisation has provided more than 400,000 food parcels.
Speaking at the event on receiving the award, Dr Soolman said, “This award is not for me, but the team that has made our work with communities and for everyone who has partnered with us to make our work possible.”
He added that when the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country, and people lost their jobs overnight and five-star private hospitals became public hospitals and people from all walks of life needed help, it was individuals and companies that came together to help and enable access to healthcare for all.
Having said that, he emphasised the need to ensure that affordable healthcare is prioritised for everyone, to make sure that no one ever has to be without good, quality, affordable healthcare.
Dr Katlego Mothudi, Managing Director of the BHF, said: “The outstanding work that the Gift of the Givers Foundation and Dr Sooliman have done speaks for itself. The Gift of the Givers Foundation has become a beacon of hope for millions of people during the most turbulent and difficult times. As the BHF, the honour is ours to present this richly deserved accolade to Dr Sooliman. He is an embodiment of ubuntu and has consistently offered a lifeline to many communities in need. Through his work with the Gift of the Givers Foundation, the world is indeed a better place. We are honoured to recognise Dr Sooliman for the extraordinary contribution he has made through the Foundation to humanitarian aid in South Africa and various countries in Africa for the past 30 years.”
Dr Sooliman has received many awards and honours in recognition of his humanitarian work, including the Social Justice Champion for 2021 and the presidential Order of Baobab (silver).