PUTRAJAYA: Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohamad Ali Wednesday received the prestigious Kiwanis Humanitarian Public Service Award 2015 for her contribution to alleviate a broad range of problems relating to family planning, rural women and disadvantaged children for more than three decades.
The wife of former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is the first and only recipient of the international Kiwanis award, the highest recognition bestowed on an individual for outstanding leadership and contribution towards addressing challenges facing society, the nation, women and children in particular.
She received the prestigious award from Kiwanis International president Sue Petrisin at an award presentation ceremony at Perdana Leadership Foundation here.
Also present were Dr Mahathir, Patron of Kiwanis Down Syndrome Foundation National Centre Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik and Kiwanis Malaysia Governor Datuk Fatimah Saad.
The 89-year-old Dr Siti Hasmah, who became the first woman State Maternal and Child Health Officer in Kedah in 1974, had trail-blazed the causes of women’s health, children and family planning, mental health, drug abuse, rural women and adult literacy spanning a period of more than three decades.
The award is given in conjunction with the 100-year anniversary celebration of Kiwanis International, a global organisation of volunteers dedicated to improving the world one child and one community at a time.
Petrisin said Kiwanis International was proud to present the award to Dr Siti Hasmah based on her sterling role in improving family planning, paediatrics, mental health, rural women and disadvantaged children since becoming a medical doctor in 1955.
Meanwhile, Dr Siti Hasmah said she was proud and happy for being given the honour in recognition for her contributions particularly in assisting the disabled and Down Syndrome group.
“What we can do to help, we must help the disabled people in the country,” she said.