Celebrating Black change-makers in Global Health

By: Laura Published: 07/02/2023

Global health leadership is dominated by the most privileged: it’s white men from high-income countries who set the agenda and make decisions. In honour of #BlackHistoryMonth, Results Canada pays tribute to Black leaders in global health who are paving the way for equity in health.  

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1. Winnie Byanyima

Executive Director of UNAIDS

Winnie Byanyima is the Executive Director of UNAIDS and an Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. A passionate and longstanding champion of social justice and gender equality, Ms. Byanyima leads the United Nations’ efforts to end the AIDS epidemic by 2030. Ms. Byanyima believes that health care is a human right and was an early champion of a People’s Vaccine against the coronavirus that is available and free of charge to everyone, everywhere.

For more about Winnie Byanyima.

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2. Dr. Githinji Gitahi

Group CEO of Amref Health Africa

A passionate advocate for Universal Health Coverage, Githinji Gitahi joined Amref Health Africa as the Global Chief Executive Officer in June 2015. Amref Health Africa, founded in 1957, is the largest Africa-led international organization, reaching more than 11 million people each year through 150 health-focused projects across 35 countries.

For more about Dr Githunji Gitahi.

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3. Dr. Matshidiso Moeti

World Health Organization Regional Director for Africa

Dr. Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti is the World Health Organization (WHO) Regional Director for Africa. She is the first woman to be elected to this position and is now in her second term. Over the past seven years, Dr. Moeti has led a Transformation Agenda that is widely acknowledged to have improved WHO’s performance on emergencies, enhancing accountability and driving progress toward Universal Health Coverage. She leads WHO’s support to the COVID-19 pandemic response in Africa.

For more about Dr Matshidiso Moeti.

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4. Ambassador Dr. John N. Nkengasong

U.S. Global AIDS Coordinator (PEPFAR lead)

Born in Cameroon, Dr. Nkengasong is the first person of African origin to lead the U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR). In 2017, Dr. Nkengasong was appointed as the first Director of the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC). Through his leadership, a framework for moving Africa CDC into a fully autonomous health agency of the Africa Union was established. He also led the COVID-19 response in Africa, coordinating with heads of state and governments across the continent, among other achievements to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.
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5. Dr. Agnes Binagwaho

Co-founder of the University of Global Health Equity

Professor Agnes Binagwaho is the co-founder and the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Global Health Equity, an initiative of Partners In Health focused on changing the way health care is delivered around the world by training the next generation of global health professionals to deliver more equitable, quality health services for all. She is a Rwandan pediatrician who has served the health sector in various high-level government positions, first as the Executive Secretary of Rwanda's National AIDS Control Commission, then as Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, and then for five years as Minister of Health. With over 150 peer-reviewed publications, her research interests include health equity and human rights, implementation science, and improving care delivery systems.

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