An Aberdeen doctor at the forefront of the Covid fight has been made an OBE.
Dr Noha ElSakka is the head of microbiology and virology at NHS Grampian, and during the pandemic worked closely with medical facilities across the region to help shape their response.
Dr ElSakka, originally from Egypt, said she was “delighted and honoured” to be included on the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
Working in the medical profession runs in the family as her husband, Amr, is a consultant, while her daughter, Sara, and son, Kareem, have qualified as doctors.
Speaking about the honour, the 53-year-old said: “I am absolutely delighted and honoured to receive such a recognition.
“This is the highest honour I’ve received in all my career and coming that from the Queen is amazing. It took a few days to absorb and I had to keep it quiet from my family.”
Having received the news, Dr ElSakka was happy to know that her work had been recognised and appreciated and found it motivating to continue her work.
‘It is all our collective work that has made this recognition possible’
She described her work throughout the pandemic and some of the “most difficult and of her professional career”.
Dr ElSakka was also grateful and said she was “lucky” to have a great team working with her during difficult moments.
She said: “I learned a lot on a personal level and as a team during the pandemic and it gave me this resilience and preparedness to deal with similar challenges in the future.
“As hard it is was, the whole Covid experience, it was a challenging learning experience through which we became more experienced and more knowledgeable.”
She is now looking forward to sharing the news with her family, especially her dad.
She added: “My dad will be so proud to find out about this and I can’t wait to tell him and also to go back to my team and celebrate because it is a positive thing for all of us.
“It is all our collective work that has made this recognition possible and I thank them.”