Cameroon’s Professor Rose Leke, is among the nine women who have been honored with the 2018 Heroine of Health award, dedicated to women changing the face of healthcare in the world.
This was during the 71st World Health Assembly in Geneva, last May, when GE Healthcare and Women in Global Health-a movement that strives for greater gender equality in global health leadership joined forces to celebrate and honour nine women for their commitment and achievements in global health. The ceremony took place in the presence of Cameroon’s Public Health Minister, Andre Mama Fouda and a delegation of health personnel from Cameroon.
Prof. Leke has been a leader and role model within the global health community. Her groundbreaking research encompasses broad areas of immunology, parasitology, and global health, with a particular focus on malaria, in addition to her significant contributions to polio eradication across the African continent. Through her work, Prof. Leke has shown tremendous leadership in advancing gender equality and empowering women in the field of public health, science and research.
Just like many health rights advocates, Professor Leke believes training young girls and women and providing them with education, gives them a better understanding of health practices. To her, health education helps women make informed decisions about their own personal health care, maternal care, which in turn helps them avoid preventable diseases or potentially dangerous procedures.
The outstanding 2018 health heroine thinks there are not enough female leaders in influential leadership positions in global health and particularly not enough African women. “It is therefore critical and important to empower the next generation of leaders to fill the gap of women at the top, she said”.