COVID-19 Heroines

Our “Spotlight a COVID-19 Heroine” initiative highlights African women who have demonstrated exceptional leadership and dedication to their communities through their COVID-19 response efforts. Join us in recognizing and celebrating these inspiring women. Read more about our featured COVID-19 Heroines below.

Edith Muhindo

Kasese, Uganda | Area Supervisor, The Paper Fig Foundation
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...

Janet Ricks

Montserrado, Liberia | Founder and Executive Director, Potential Leaders for Sustainable Future
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...

Margaret Mojisola Ayorinde

Lagos, Nigeria | Assistant Director for Nursing Services and Matron in Charge of the Isolation Ward, Infectious Diseases Unit of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH)
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...

Khadijah Abdul-Samed

Tamale, Ghana | Communication & Gender Officer and Project Lead for the Women-LEAD Development Project at the Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA)
Khadijah Abdul-Samed is a communication practitioner with nearly ten years’ experience in broadcasting, advocacy, and research. Khadjiah currently works as the Communication & Gender Officer at the Savannah Women Integrated Development Agency (SWIDA), an organization working to empower communities and...

Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka

Uganda | Founder and CEO, Conservation Through Public Health
Dr. Gladys Kalema-Zikusoka is a leading conservationist and scientist working to protect wildlife species, including the endangered mountain gorillas of East Africa. She is the Founder and CEO of Conservation Through Public Health (CTPH), a non-profit organization that promotes conservation...

Dr. Winnie Kitetu

Mombasa, Kenya | Clinical Psychologist in Residence, The Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa
Dr. Winnie Kitetu is the Clinical Psychologist in Residence at the Aga Khan Hospital, Mombasa, Kenya. Dr. Kitetu began her career as a pharmacist, and as her interest in mental health developed, she returned to university to study Clinical Psychology....

Lola Talabi-Oni

Lagos, Nigeria | Technical Advisor to the Statistician-General at the National Bureau of Statistics, Nigeria
Through her role as Technical Advisor to the Statistician-General at the National Bureau of Statistics in Nigeria, Lola Talabi-Oni recognized early on during the COVID-19 pandemic that aggregating data across government organizations could help to dramatically improve public understanding of...

Elsiemae Melanie Buckle

Sierra Leone | Curriculum Associate, Rising Academy Network
As a Curriculum Associate at the Rising Academy Network (Rising Academies), an innovative network of schools in West Africa, Elsiemae Melanie Buckle has worked tirelessly during the COVID-19 pandemic to ensure that students in Sierra Leone continue to have access...

Minister Doara Siliya

Zambia | Minister of Information and Broadcasting Services, Chief Government Spokesperson, and Member of Parliament
Minister Dora Siliya was first elected as a Member of Parliament in Zambia in 2006, representing the Petauke Central constituency. Since then, she has held several ministerial roles, including Minister of Energy and Water Development, Minister of Agriculture, and Minister...

Minister Lia Tadesse

Ethiopia | Minister of Health, The Federal Ministry of Health of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Minister Lia Tadesse is an obstetrician and gynecologist with extensive leadership experience in healthcare, academia, hospital management, and grant-funded programs. Prior to her appointment as Minister of Health of Ethiopia on 12 March 2020—just one day before the first case...

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