Global award for JCU medical school professor and Townsville Hospital doctor

4 November 2016

Townsville Hospital director of urogynaecology Professor Ajay Rane has been awarded a global humanitarian award, named in honour of India’s most revered statesman, for his work in gynaecological and obstetric care in some of the world’s poorest places.
Professor Ajay Rane is a JCU Medical School Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, and works at the Townsville Hospital. He is a multi-award-winning academic who was last week announced as a recipient of a global humanitarian award.

Global award for JCU Professor and Townsville Hospital doctor
JCU Professor Ajay Rane with his medal, which is crafted with Mahatma Gandhi’s image. (Photo: Ian Hitchcock)

The James Cook University professor was awarded the Mahatma Gandhi Pravasi Award for Humanitarian Work in Women’s Health by the NRI (non-resident Indians) Welfare Society at Britain’s House of Lords last month.
The society recognises a number of non-resident Indians each year for their work benefitting the global community.
“I was absolutely delighted, of course, to be a recipient this year and, especially, because this is an award from India, my country of origin,” Professor Rane said.
“While it’s always a thrill to see your work recognised, it’s more important to me that this sort of recognition helps to highlight the plight of women in crisis worldwide.”
Professor Rane, who is a naturalised Australian, has spent almost two decades treating and operating on women with catastrophic childbirth injuries in countries that include India, Nepal, Borneo, Malaysia and Kuwait.
He has also trained hundreds of local doctors in the techniques to perform specialised gynaecological surgery including fistula repair.
A fistula is a hole that develops between the bladder or bowel and the vagina after a difficult childbirth and is a debilitating and devastating condition, especially if left untreated as it often is in the poorest parts of the world.
Earlier this year, Professor Rane was appointed appointed Chair of the Fistula Committee for the International Federation of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (FIGO) and is leading the charge for fistula education and prevention in the developing world.
Townsville Hospital and Health Service Executive Director Medical Services Dr Andrew Johnson congratulated Professor Rane on the prestigious award.
“Professor Rane continues to shine a light on the critical dilemma of women globally who suffer serious injuries from child birth,” he said.
“He is a leading academic and surgeon and we are very privileged and proud to benefit from his clinical and teaching acumen and expertise.”
Professor Rane’s award was presented by the Baroness Verma, former Parliamentary Under-Secretary for the Department for International Development.

Courtesy of the Townsville Hospital and Health Service


Located in Townsville, JCU Medical School offers the MBBS medical degree and aims to produce graduates of the highest academic standards who can progress to medical practice and to further studies in medical specialties.
The James Cook University medical program leads positive change in health and medical care for communities of tropical Australia and beyond through socially accountable health education, discoveries, partnerships and advocacy that make a difference.
The program has a distinctive regional mission with a focus on the needs of rural, remote and underserved communities, tropical medicine and the health of Aboriginal peoples and Torres Strait Islanders.

Would you like more information about JCU Medical School? Contact OzTREKK’s Australian Medical Schools Officer Courtney Frank at