Eric Foskett Award 2022 - Awarded to Dr. Selva Mudaly
CITATION TO THE 2022 WINNER OF THE ERIC FOSKETT AWARD – DR SELVA MUDALY
Dr. Selva Mudaly qualified as an Environmental Health Practitioner in 1974 and went on to obtain various certificates and diplomas in various fields of Environmental Health. He obtained the B. Tech Degree in Environmental Health. He worked in Local Government for 43 years, before retiring in 2013. He was the first person in South Africa to be awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Environmental Health, the PhD, Environmental Health.
Throughout his long and illustrious career, Dr. Mudaly received numerous work and professional appointments, inclusive of:
- Appointment by the National Minister of Constitutional Affairs and Planning of South Africa to serve on the National Local Government Training Board for a period of 5 years (1992- 1997).
- Deputy Chairperson of the Professional Board for EHPs of the Health Professions Council of South Africa (2002 - 2008).
- President of the South African Institute of Environmental Health since 2010.
- President of the International Federation of Environmental Health from 2018 to 2020.
- KZN representative on the South African Local Government Association on the National Health Technical Working Group (1994- 2002)
- Responsible for drafting and developing the Scope of Practice for the Profession of Environmental Health in South Africa.
- Performing the first Municipal Health Services (Environmental Health) audits in South Africa in 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017and 2018 on behalf of SALGA.
- Drafted a set of MHS (Environmental Health By-laws) for the country on behalf of SALGA.
- He was appointed by the National Department of Mineral and Energy Affairs and the Civil Engineering Research Foundation (Africa Region) as part of the South African delegation to the USA to draft a document for the phasing out of lead from fuel and make recommendations to the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Affairs.
- He was integrally involved in the development of the South Durban Basin Multi-Point Plan.
- Appointment by the National Minister of Environmental Affairs as a member of the Inter-Governmental Coordinating Committee.
Attendance and participation in national and international conferences and meetings
Dr Mudaly attended, participated in, or organized the following International Conferences on Environmental Health:
- Represented South Africa at the International Conference on Health and Environment in Africa on the 8-11th September 1997.
- Represented South Africa at the International Federation of Environmental Health (IFEH), World Congress in Stockholm, Sweden in 2000.
- Represented South Africa at the IFEH World Congress in San Diego in 2002.
- Organized the 8th World Congress on Environmental Health in Durban in 2004.
- Represented South Africa at the IFEH World Congress in Dublin in 2006.
- Presented at the 2nd All Africa Congress in Malawi in May 2010, paper entitled, “THE ROLE OF THE PROFESSIONAL BOARD FOR ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH PRACTITIONERS IN CONTINUOUS PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT, CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT AND QUALITY ASSURANCE”.
- Organized the 3rd All Africa Congress on Environmental Health at the I.C.C. in Durban in November 2012.
- Represented South Africa in Las Vegas in 2014
- Represented South Africa and IFEH President at the IFEH World Congress in Jamaica in 2017.
- Represented South Africa at the IFEH World Congress in Auckland in 2018.
Significant Contributions to the IFEH
- He was elected the IFEH President – Elect in 2016 and became IFEH President in 2018-2020.
- During his term as IFEH President, he canvassed support which led to the changing of the IFEH logo to the new, smart-looking, and modern logo of the IFEH.
- He tirelessly campaigned for changes of the IFEH Procedures Manual, which resulted in member organisations identifying several outdated policies and the IFEH Procedures Manual was revamped, making it easier to be understood by all members, and it became a modern document and more practical to implement.
- He campaigned for a break-away strategic session, which he chaired and resulted in major changes to IFEH operations which place them more in line with international organisations’ operations and best practices.
- He spearheaded the writing of the history of the IFEH, which forms the foundation of the IFEH and will be updated at regular intervals. This document was adopted by IFEH Council.
- He developed IFEH Strategic Plan/Objectives which were adopted by IFEH Council as a road map that could be used by the IFEH to evaluate its performance and relevance in serving its stakeholders. This plan is expected to be subject to ongoing review to make it more responsive to the needs of the organization.
- He served the IFEH at all its council meetings.
- He was also invited by the Jamaican Association of Public Health Inspectors (JAPHI) as a guest speaker during his term as IFEH President-Elect.
- He was invited by the Zambian Institute of Environmental Health to make presentations at their National Environmental Health meetings.
- He played a major role in the development and promotion of the IFEH Environmental Health Day themes for three successive years (2018 to 2020).
- He continues to serve on the Board of Directors of IFEH, representing the Africa Region as Chairperson where he is contributing meaningfully to the development of the IFEH.
- Currently, the Chairperson of the Africa Group of the International Federation of Environmental Health and Acting Secretary of the IFEH since 2022.
- Most Outstanding Jaycees of the Year – Verulam Chapter in 1982.
- Won the National Jaycees Achiever Award from Jaycees South Africa in 1982 for Community Projects and service rendering.
- First recipient of the Alfred Nzo Award for outstanding contribution in the field of Environmental Health in 2002, awarded by the National Minister of Health of South Africa.
We celebrate and salute Selva for his vision, decorum, astuteness, brilliance, dedication, commitment, sober approach, firmness, and infectious smile as he worked tirelessly with colleagues at the local, national, regional, and international levels to achieve the ideals of environmental health. He represents a giant among environmental health practitioners and a most deserving recipient of the Eric Foskett Award. The following quotation aptly summarizes his approach to his life, work, and success, “A lot of people failed at what you accomplished, simply because they were busy finding problems while you were busy finding solutions”.