Opening Remarks

Hon. Sicily Kariuki

Hon. Sicily Kariuki has been serving as the Cabinet Secretary for Health, Kenya Ministry of Health since 2018. Previously, she served as the Cabinet Secretary for Public Service, Youth and Gender Affairs. In her capacity as minister, Kariuki was appointed by WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus to serve on the Independent High-level Commission on Non-Communicable Diseases from 2018 to 2019. Prior to beginning her political career, she had a wide-ranging career in the business world including serving as the Managing Director and CEO of the Tea Board of Kenya.

Keynote Speaker

Prof. Miriam Were

Prof. Miriam Khamadi Were is a Kenyan medical doctor, public health specialist, teacher and publisher. She is a member of the Champions for HIV-Free Generation that mostly consists of former African Heads of State. She has been Chancellor of Moi University, Chairman of Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council and Chairman of the Board of African Medical and Research Foundation. She graduated as a Medical Doctor from the University of Nairobi and holds both the Masters (MPH) and Doctor of Public Health (DrPH) degrees from Johns Hopkins University. Prof. Were worked in the Kenyan Ministry of Health, Faculty of Medicine of the University of Nairobi, UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA. The focus of her work and research has been on establishing and promoting community health. Prof. Were has received multiple honors and awards including Kenya’s Elder of the Burning Spear, the Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medal in Public Health and Knight in the French National Order of the Légion d’Honneur. She is the first Laureate of the Hideyo Noguchi Africa Prize for Medical Services by Japan.

Plenary Speakers

Diana Nambatya Nsubuga

Prof. Diana Nambatya is a Ugandan public health specialist with nearly 15 years of experience in RMNCH and health systems strengthening in Sub-Saharan Africa. She worked at the Regional Economic Communities of the African Union and coordinated the Eastern Africa Reproductive Health Network. Prof. Nambatya was also part of the team at Partners in Population and Development Africa Regional Office that reinvigorated the Western Africa Reproductive Health Network (WARHN) and Southern Africa Reproductive Health Network (SARHN). Prior to joining Living Goods as Uganda’s Deputy Country Director, she worked at Global Health Corps as a Country Manager. Prof. Nambatya holds a PhD in Public Health and has won a number of leadership awards including the 2017 Women Champion Award, 2016 American Express Ngen Leadership Award, and 2015 Urban Farmer Award. She has served as an Honorary Associate Professor at Makerere University as part of her community service. Prof. Nambatya is passionate about advancing primary health care towards Universal Health Coverage at the national, regional, and global levels. She is currently a member of the WHO/UHC Social Protection Network.

Crystal Lander

Crystal Lander is a senior public health professional who launched the advocacy and global policy portfolios for two global non-governmental organizations. As the Director of Advocacy for Living Goods, she manages engagement on global health policy to drive the organization’s vision for lasting and systemic impact that will enable every family to access quality health care in the community in which they live. Prior to Living Goods, Ms. Lander led the advocacy unit at Management Sciences for Health (MSH) for more than seven years. Ms. Lander is a graduate of the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Economics and a Master of Public Health from Tulane’s School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine with a degree in International Health Policy.

Innocent Grant

Innocent Grant is a 22-year-old Tanzanian youth leader, trainer, public speaker and a clinician with special competence in managing digital media for reproductive health promotion, with proven experience in founding and managing a project called “Contraceptive Conversation”. Innocent also created and currently running a project called “Her story is my story” so as to promote the youth needs on contraception and sexual health in Tanzania. He is a former International Citizen Service Volunteers with Voluntary Service Overseas in Tanzania. Later, Innocent assisted SH:24 (Sexual health 24 hours) in designing the new digital tool for reproductive health information in Nairobi. He has been a youth speaker at two major global conferences, the 2018 International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali, Rwanda, and the 2019 Women Deliver Conference in Vancouver, BC, Canada.

Elizabeth Wala

Dr. Elizabeth Wala is the current program director health systems strengthening with Amref Health Africa in Kenya. She has more than 15 years’ experience spanning fields of health systems strengthening for universal health coverage, health care policy development, pharmaceutical medicine and clinical research. She is known and respected for program refinements and building credibility and partnerships across cultures and with leading national and international private, public, and non-profit health sector stakeholders. Dr. Wala has participated in the development of key national and international policies and guidelines across many African countries. She serves as vice-chair for the Kenya Healthcare Federation and co-chair of SDGs Kenya Forum. She has also served as organization representative at national and international forums, conferences, technical working groups, and advisory boards. She was part of Business Daily’s Top 40 Under 40 Women in 2016, and was a 2017 nominee of the Upcoming Human Rights Defender of the Year Award. Dr. Wala received a Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Nairobi, a Master of Science in Infectious Diseases at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Certificate in Economic Evaluation of Global Health at the University of Washington.

Doreen Ali

Doreen Ali is a Clinical Epidemiologist and Biostatistician with a BSc. in Nursing Education, Administration and Community Health Nursing. Doreen is the Deputy Director for Preventative Health Services responsible for the National Community Health Program of the Ministry of Health in Malawi. In this role, she spearheaded the development of Malawi’s first ever National Community Health Strategy to implement community based primary health care to achieve universal health coverage. Doreen also designed the new community community health system which strengthens the link between the three key constituents which are the community, the local government and health system. She is now leading the implementation of Malawi’s National Community Health Strategy where she has led the development of critical guidelines to clarify roles of different cadres of Community Health Workers and community structures.

Josh Kraus

Josh Kraus is a Manager in Accenture’s Health Strategy practice. He has deep experience in growth, innovation, and driving transformation across the healthcare industry. More recently, Josh has focused his time on care model transformation, and leveraging advanced digital and technological capabilities, such as artificial intelligence, to help organizations unlock new value. He has worked with clients across the ecosystem, including large health systems, payers, and life science companies, as well as helping non-traditional companies seeking to enter and disrupt the health industry. Josh has worked across the US and has also led projects and conducted business development in Africa and Southeast Asia. Prior to joining Accenture, Josh worked with Epic, a leading vendor of electronic medical records (EMR), where he led implementation and consulting efforts for large multi-hospital systems. Josh holds an MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business with a concentration in Strategy and a B.A. in Political Science from Emory University.

Faith Opiyo

Faith Opiyo is a 27-year-old advocate of sexual reproductive health and rights especially towards the demographic dividend through family planning and development. She is the founder of the Center for Young Women Empowerment (CYWE), a registered community-based organization in Kenya’s Soweto slums that deals with empowerment of youth and adolescent girls with inclusion of boys on matters of sexual reproductive health, gender, and life skills. Faith currently holds several positions in civil society: as regional coordinator of She Decides local champions in Kenya; as convener of ICPD 25 Conference through alliance of youths in CSOs; as chairperson of the Youth Advisory Panel to UNFPA (YAP-UNFPA); and as a trainer of trainers on sexual reproductive health authenticated by Ministry of Health. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in sociology and political science.

Magnus Conteh

Magnus Conteh currently serves as the Executive Director to the Community Health Academy. Under Magnus’s leadership and through multiple partnerships across three continents, the Academy will help governments transform community health education and build capacity in health systems leadership. Previously, Magnus worked for seven years at World Vision Ireland, including as the Deputy CEO/Director of Programmes and Strategy. Notably, he led World Vision’s involvement in the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen Ebola Vaccine trial in Sierra Leone, which included overseeing the deployment of technology critical for the clinical trial.

Marloes Kibucha

Marloes Kibucha is a Co-Founder and the Operations Director of Africa Health Business Ltd. (AHB), an African based healthcare advisory and consulting firm, established to increase the access and affordability of healthcare for all in Africa, with a focus on private health sector strengthening. Within AHB she is responsible for the operations of the company, leading and capacity building of the team and the overall project/program management and development. Marloes has over 10 years’ experience in providing technical advisory and consulting services in multiple projects aimed at strengthening the development of the African (private) healthcare sector. Besides her role at AHB, Marloes is the founder and board member of Imarika Initiative, a small-scale community program that supports mentally disabled children and their families in Mukuru Slum, Nairobi. Marloes holds an MA in Public Administration and Organizational Science and BSc in Cultural Anthropology and Sociology of non-Western Societies, both from Utrecht University in the Netherlands.

Mercy Juma

Mercy Juma is an award winning broadcast journalist at BBC Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. She is a passionate storyteller, who reports on vital health and science issues from maternal and child health, to sexual and reproductive health and the environment. She previously worked as Senior Broadcast Journalist at NTV, and Features Writer for the Daily Nation at Nation Media Group, Kenya. In 2015, she was among the four Dag Hammarskjold U.N. Fellows worldwide selected to cover the U.N. General Assembly in New York, where she reported on the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals. Mercy Juma was the first recipient of the Michael Elliott Award for Excellence in African Storytelling.

Dr. Salim Hussein

Dr. Hussein is currently Head of Department, Primary Health Care at the Kenya Ministry of Health. He is a public health practitioner with a passion for health system strengthening. Previously, he was the Head of the Department of Community Health Services and the Department of Health Promotion. Dr. Hussein has also worked as a District Medical Officer for 4 years in charge of various districts in Kenya.

Dr. Lola Dare

Dr. Lola Dare is the Chief Executive Officer and Secretary of the Governing Council. Dr. Lola Dare is a community physician and epidemiologist. She graduated MB;BS from the College of Medicine University of Ibadan in June 1985; obtained Masters of Science degree in Epidemiology (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) in 1991; awarded certificates in Population and Development and International Health as David E. Bell and Takemi Fellow of the Harvard School of Public Health, USA in 1994 and 2000 respectively. Dr. Dare is a member of the West African Postgraduate Medical College in the Faculty of Public Health (1990) and a fellow of the Nigerian National Postgraduate Medical College in the Faculty of Community Medicine (1992).

Eric Angula

Eric Angula is currently the Head of Strategy, Partnerships and Government relations for Medtronic Labs. He has over 10 years’ experience in sales, strategy, partnership and business development in both Pharma and medical devices within Sub-Saharan Africa. Eric is passionate about social impact-based business models focused on increasing access to care for under-served patient populations.

Nyawira Njeru

Nyawira Njeru is a market development market access professional, currently serving as the Director, Global Health, at BD. She provides leadership for BD’s Global Health initiatives in emerging and developing countries in Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa. Her responsibilities include external engagements with ministries of health, international agencies and non-government organizations, professional associations and other stakeholders, leading public private partnerships in support of programs that advance equitable access to health.

Margaret Nguhi

Margaret Nguhi is the Head of Programs at Handicap International TUK program. In her role, she manages overall quality assurance of HI TUK’s programs in the region both in development and humanitarian contexts including technical sectors of the programs interventions (protection, rights advocacy, reproductive health and livelihoods). She also leads HI’s program design and development strategy in the region, including proposal development and together with the regional program director strategizes on fundraising and donor relations. She has a passion for reproductive health especially improving access for marginalized women and women with disabilities. She has over 10 years working experience with international relief organizations both in South Sudan and Kenya. Margaret is a registered nurse and midwife and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Development Studies from Kimmage Development Studies Centre.

More information on plenary speakers coming soon!