Over the span of her two-decade career, Mrs. Margaret Mojisola Ayorinde has made meaningful contributions to the field of nursing across West Africa, and has played an important role in helping to treat and stop the spread of diseases including COVID-19, Lassa fever, and Ebola. Currently, Mrs. Ayorinde is the Assistant Director for Nursing Services and Matron in Charge of the Isolation Ward, Infectious Diseases Unit, at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) in Nigeria. Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic in Nigeria, Mrs. Ayorinde has been on the frontlines, tirelessly working to train health care workers, monitor infectious disease control procedures in the hospital, and care for patients. An accomplished and dedicated health care professional, Mrs. Ayorinde is equally admired for her bedside manner–looking after individual patients, connecting with their families, and providing spiritual and emotional comfort and strength, along with superb nursing care.
Janet Ricks is the Founder and Executive Director of Potential Leaders for Sustainable Future, a non-governmental organization that works with young people in Liberia to empower, educate, and elevate them, encouraging their inclusion at all levels of society, including in national decision making. Ms. Ricks has demonstrated her dedication to her community and to public service throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, leading her organization to deliver essential services and public health announcements to the disabled community, and continuing to advocate and increase visibility for young women and people living with disabilities.
Edith Muhindo is the Area Supervisor of the Paper Fig Foundation—an organization that promotes fashion and fine arts as an economic empowerment tool—in Kasese, in the Western region of Uganda. Over the last eight months, Edith has guided the Paper Fig Foundation through the pandemic with resiliency, creativity, and commitment, from spearheading a mask sewing campaign that has gone global, to grassroots, on-the-ground community outreach, educating rural populations about how to stay safe and avoid the spread of COVID-19. She has devoted herself to helping members of her community, especially those that are among the most vulnerable.