Dr. Malata is the Vice President of the International Confederation of Midwives, the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Interprofessional Education and Practice, and the principal of the Kamuzu College of Nursing at the University of Malawi. She is also co-author of the 2014 study in the international medical journal, The Lancet, called Midwifery and quality care: findings from a new evidence-informed framework for maternal and newborn care.
Agnes Odhiambo is a researcher with the women’s rights division of Human Rights Watch, where she investigates violations of women’s rights in sub-Saharan Africa. She currently focuses on maternal and reproductive health, violence against women, and child marriage. Since joining Human Rights Watch in 2009, Odhiambo has documented the human rights implications of obstetric fistula in Kenya, researched sexual violence affecting Somali women and girls in Kenyan refugee camps, investigated South Africa’s inadequate response to abuses against maternity patients by health workers, and documented the severe consequences of child and forced marriage in South Sudan and Malawi. Formerly, her work involved working with the media in Southern and Eastern Africa to promote women’s rights and provide a space for women’s voices, including through media monitoring, research, and training. Odhiambo has a master’s degree and a Ph.D., focusing on the impact of HIV/AIDS on the discourse of sexuality and gender, from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.
Alheri Yusuf is a Registered Nurse, Midwife, Nurse Educator and a Fellow of the West African College of Nursing.
Born in 1965 in Kagoma, Jema’a Local Government Area of Kaduna State, she had her Primary and Secondary Education in Kano, Kano State, her Nursing, Midwifery and Degree programmes in Katsina, Kaduna, Ibadan and Calabar respectively. She started her professional career as a Clinical Instructor and later became a Lecturer in the College of Nursing, Kafanchan, Kaduna State. She later transferred her services to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria where she has risen to the rank of a Deputy Registrar.
Her continuous and deep interest in Midwifery led her to work with different groups and partners both locally and internationally, making her a link between the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria and the groups/partners.
She is a member of various groups and associations within and outside the Country e.g NANNM Midwives Association, CONAMA, ANAC, FGBMFI.
She is married and blessed with children.
Camilla Pickles currently serves as a constitutional court clerk for Chief Justice Mogoeng and volunteers as a sub editor for South African Crime Quarterly. She recently completed her LLD at the University of Pretoria, which focused on addressing the tension between female reproductive autonomy rights and foetal interests during pregnancy and birth. Ms. Pickles’ work is dedicated to securing the meaningful realisation of pregnant women’s rights in South Africa during pregnancy continuation and termination.
Commissioner Nare sits on the Human Resource, Education and Research IT and Communication Committees of the Commission on Gender Equality. In her leadership capacities she works effectively with local elected officials, organizations, churches, and citizens, garnering their support for civil rights with regards to access of essential services within the Republic of South Africa. She was once Overall Convenor at the National Economic Development and Labour Council (Nedlac) Community Constituency. She currently serves as National Gender Coordinator at the South African Communist Party and Head of Department for SADTU’s (South African Democratic Teachers Union) Gender Unit.
Dr. Aaron Mujajati
Dr Aaron Mujajati is the president of the Zambia Medical Association which promotes and maintains high standards of medical practice through the provision of continuous medical education and by influencing national policy and public opinion on health matters in Zambia. Dr. Mujajati was awarded PEPFAR Champion 2014 for commitment to advocating for equal access to health services. He was instrumental in bringing attention to prison health care services among medical doctors by awarding a medical doctor who had been serving in prisons for many years.
Dr. Ebenezer Durojaye
Ebenezer Durojaye is Associate Professor of Law and Head Socioeconomic Rights Project at the Community Law Centre, University of the Western Cape, South Africa. His research and publications have appeared in the International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family, International Journal on Human Rights, Netherlands International law Review, Netherlands Quarterly on Human Rights, and the International Journal of Gynaecology and Obstetrics. He is one of the Independent Experts of the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights for the Committee on the Protection of the Rights of People Living with HIV (PLHIV) and those at Risk, Vulnerable to and Affected by HIV, and from 2012-2014 he provided technical support to the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights.
Evelyne Opondo is the Center for Reproductive Rights’ Regional Director for Africa where she manages the Center’s Africa program working in five priority African countries and at the Africa regional level. Prior to joining the Center, she worked on reproductive health and rights issues in Africa serving as the Regional Policy Associate for Ipas, an International organization working in fourteen African countries. She previously worked for six years for the Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Kenya, and as State Law Officer in the Office of the Attorney General of Kenya. She is also a part time lecturer on Gender and Law at the University of Nairobi.
Head of Programmes and Advocacy, Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA)
Felicity Ukoko is the head of Programmes and Advocacy for the Well-Being Foundation of Africa. Ms. Ukoko was born in Zimbabwe but has worked as a midwife in the UK for over 20 years. During her time at the UK’s NHS, Felicity pioneered clinical governance with a focus on improving the quality of care for women and children. In her role at WBFA, Felicity advocates on a global scale for the rights of mothers and their babies to respectful, quality care. She is also a champion for the White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) and Founder-member of WRA Zimbabwe.
H.E DCNS Omolewa Ahmed
Her Excellency, Dcns. Omolewa Yetunde Ahmed hails from Ibadan, Oyo State, South – West Nigeria. She started her education at the University of Ibadan Staff School and later proceeded to Victory Nursery and Primary School where she obtained her Primary School Leaving Certificate. Her Secondary School education was at the Prestigious Saint Teresa’s College, Ibadan. Then she advanced to Kwara State Polytechnic where she obtained National Diploma in Banking & Finance and Higher National Diploma from the Kano State Polytechnic.
Dcns. Omolewa Ahmed is a hardworking woman who has business interest in Catering, Event Management and Commodity trading. She is a good Christian who loves God passionately. A kindhearted woman who is selfless and genuinely caring. All her life, she has been involved in one humanitarian work or the other. The assumption of office of her husband, Dr Abdulfatah Ahmed as the Executive Governor of Kwara State in 2011 widened the scope of her humanitarian activities as she assumed the role of the “mother of the state”. In pursuit of her passion to touch lives positively, Her Excellency founded the LEAH Foundation as a vehicle to deal with Socio- Economic and Health issues of the generality of Kwara people- women, the youth and widows.
LEAH FOUNDATION defines the character of Omolewa Ahmed. Through the foundation, she has brought succor to hundreds of thousands of people especially the widows and aged, physically challenged persons, people with health challenges, the extremely poor and vulnerable etc. A very simple and approachable person who has made LEAH one big family through her approach to work. She is an active team player and makes everyone feel secure in her presence.
Ian Lindsay Wheeler, Homeopathic Pharmacist
Ian qualified as a pharmacist at Rhodes University in 1980. He has owned his own retail pharmacies for the last 30 years but was always intuitively drawn to Natural Medicine. He expanded all his pharmacies to incorporate a ‘health section ’ untilin 1994, he completed a 3 year Classical Homeopathy course, given by renowned Cape Town Homeopath, Dr. Ruth Bloch. Ian thereafter designed the Pegasus Homeopathic Range of remedies, that supported the Pegasus BLUE BOX (Homeopathic1st Aid Kit comprising of 28 remedies, that are capable of treating over 100 common conditions, encountered by people in general)
Having worked with a number of wonderful ‘Holistic Healers’ and Naturopaths over the last 25 years in practice, Ian established Steps To Health Pharmacy & Health Shop, his current Pharmacy, situated in Diep River, Cape Town(11 natural practitioners practicing various modalities, operate from the same premises) where an integration of Allopathic , Herbal & HomeopathicDispensaries, have a synergy. Ian’s passion however is Homeopathy, because of it’s safety in use for all, it’s treating of both CAUSE & SYMPTOM and efficacy. He spends much time travelling the country, teaching and training colleagues about homeopathy and how to integrate this wonderful COMPLEMENTARY MODALITY into their retail pharmacies, as well as Pharmacy students at their respective universities/colleges(Homeopathy being safe to use in conjunction with allopathic medicines)
Nursing sisters, midwives and doula’s, particularly embrace homeopathy as a wonderful ‘tool’, to treat and help their pregnant, breast-feeding clients and their newborn infants.
See www.stepstohealth.co.za for further information on the other Speciality Remedies and Natural Protocols available through Steps to Health Pharmacy and www.pegasuskits.com for in depth information relating to Pegasus Homeopathics, the remedies and their application, in everyday use for the whole family.
Irene Nkosi is an HIV+ mother of two HIV – daughter’s who lives in a previously marginalised township of Ekangala in Gauteng. Irene has 1st hand experience of discrimination, abuse and abandonment as a teen mother birthing in a state hospital.
Ms Nkosi has dedicated her life to empowering women in her community and has for the past 8 years worked in Dark City State clinic as a mentor, site co-ordinator and Spokes person for women’s rights. Recently the NGO she worked for closed its doors due to a lack of funding. Irene continues to volunteer for her community.
Irene brings a unique perspective to the HRiC Indaba. She is the voice of the most vulnerable, teen moms from South Africa’s racially segregated townships. She is also the power that fuels our social fabric. She represents the activists, those who refuse to stay “down” despite their circumstances. Irene believes things will change, life will get better and the anger and violence that women experience at the hands of health practitioners in hospitals will end.
Jody-Lee Fredericks is an attorney at the Women’s Legal Centre, where she managers the Sexual Health and Reproductive Health Rights and Child Maintenance portfolio. In her current portfolio she utilizes litigation and advocacy as tools to advance the rights of women. She has eight years’ experience in working with women at grass roots level where she empowers women with legal knowledge by providing legal advice and training on issues which affect their daily lives.
Karen Clark is a midwife working in a rural area of the Eastern Cape, South Africa. In 2010 she set up a rural birthing centre, Busfare Babies Birth Centre, to serve the women of the area during pregnancy, childbirth and during the postnatal period. Karen trained as a Nurse and Midwife in South Africa, and obtained her advanced Midwifery diploma in Edinburgh, UK.
Kenneth Simbaya a journalist with 17 years experience focusing on Maternal and Newborn Health in Tanzania. He has been President of the Union of Tanzanian Press Clubs (UTPC) for two terms to date, and is a Board member of Tanzania Human Rights Defenders Coalition. For the past two years Kenneth has provided lead consultancy support to Mama Ye! Tanzania on effective community engagement to champion maternal and newborn survival.
Louise Carmody is a Thematic Researcher with Amnesty International, International Secretariat Southern Africa regional office where her work focuses on Maternal Health and Sexual, Reproductive Rights. She was the principle researcher of the Amnesty International 2014 report: Struggle for Maternal Health: Barriers to Antenatal Care in South Africa
Malika Ndlovu, a writer-poet, arts project manager and applied arts practitioner (art therapies) is a mother to three sons and a stillborn daughter. She will share her personal story and extracts from her evocative poetic memoir “Invisible Earthquake : A woman’s journey through stillbirth” published by SA women’s press Modjaji Books in 2009. Since then Malika has been involved in various levels of advocacy in South Africa and internationally around this specific kind of womb loss, the need for strategic interventions and bereavement support, as well as initiated a mother-to-mothers support network.
Mande Limbu, LLM, JSD
Mande Limbu (LLM, JSD) is a human rights lawyer whose career is devoted to advocating for women’s rights, particularly for improved maternal and reproductive health. She has served as a human rights consultant to the Policy Project in Washington DC (2004-2006) providing technical support in designing and implementing strategies to influence rights-based approaches to HIV/AIDS and reproductive health programming. In 2008-2009, Mande worked as a Program Director at Gender Action, a US-based NGO conducting advocacy to leverage funding and scale up of more effective and efficient international financial institutions’ reproductive health and HIV/AIDS programs in developing countries. She is currently the Maternal Health Technical Advisor for the Health Policy Project at the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Global Secretariat in Washington, DC. Before joining the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood Global Secretariat, Mande worked for CARE Tanzania as the Director of Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health Unit where she was responsible for providing strategic leadership in the areas of program development, implementation, impact measurement and policy engagement. She received her LLB from University of Dar es Salaam, LLM from Georgetown University and JSD from Cornell University.
Marianne Littlejohn is a professional nurse and midwife in Cape Town, South Africa, who has been working to support women in physiological childbirth for over thirty years. She has attended birth in myriad settings inside and outside of hospitals, as well as assisting women who require a cesarean-section to stay connected with their baby skin-to-skin after the operation. She has also conducted research in the fields of Kangaroo Mother Care, Postnatal Depression and Attachment Parenting.
Natalya Dinat, M.D.
Natalya is an obstetrician and gynaecologist and a homeopath who lives and works in Johannesburg. Her CS rate in the private sector is 16%, compared to the 80% in the private sector. She works with a team of midwives and doulas and has been an activist for women’s rights in health since 1991. Dr. Dinat has also represented the South African Womens sector (elected) in SANAC and at the Global fund. She has been active in rights around birth at the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto and set up the first State clinic in PMTCT HIV in the Country in 1998. This was based on patients rights and ran via a successful peer health education programme. She has recently been involved in work to lower the CS rate in South Africa and presented the latest confidential inquiry into maternal deaths to the largest Medicaid company, demonstrating a higher maternal death rate amongst those women who had elective CS.
Ngala Elvis Mbiydzenyuy
Ngala Elvis Mbiydzenyuy is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and an advocate for Maternity Protection and Infant Feeding rights. He is the Founder and director of Maternal and Child Aid Cameroon a not-for profit organization dedicated to the protection, promotion and support of maternal and child health in rural communities in Cameroon through research, advocacy and training. He works in partnership with PMNCH, ILCA and WABA. He served as a country and site director for Midwife International within the months of July – August 2012 assisting international midwifery students in local midwifery development skills.
For the past 5 years Ngala has passionately worked with local traditional birth attendants and has advocated for the preservation of the traditional birth attendant’s role in optimizing healthy outcomes in pregnancy and birth in rural Cameroon. He is currently resourcing and identifying traditional birth attendants in a bid to creating local associations and empowering them through safe birth practices for optimal outcomes with prospects of mobile technology for safe delivery. The past 2 years have seen his interest include advocacy for better maternity protection rights and rights to proper childbirth and feeding.
Ms Nthato Minyuku is the President of the South African Planning Institute and is a 36 year old proud mother of two daughters. Ms. Minyuku is also the Secretary General of the African Planning Association (APA) and a World Cities Summit Young Leader. In her day-to-day work, Ms Minyuku is the Transformation and Government Relations Lead at Shell South Africa.
Onyema Afulukwe is a human rights lawyer with several years of experience engaging key stakeholders at the national, regional, and international levels to advance the development of human rights norms and stronger legal standards. She is the Senior Legal Advisor for Africa at the Center for Reproductive Rights where her work focuses on the protection of reproductive health and rights in the African region using a broad range of advocacy and accountability approaches.
Pennie Bumrungsiri has collected tools and models of community development and empowerment from residing and working in the U.S., Germany, Thailand, Cambodia, India, Bangladesh and now South Africa. Her work in Southeast Asia brought her to focusing on rural health when she designed and led refresher workshops for her favourite community action sustainability model, Training of Trainers. Her journey in birth advocacy began when she became a doula in 2012 and has now gone on to study midwifery sciences and complementary and alternative medicine.
Ms. Prudence Mabele is the Founding Executive Director of the Positive Women’s Network a grassroots organization that serves to build the capacity of, and advocate for improved service provision and greater involvement of Women Living with HIV in South Africa. She is also one of the founding members of the Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) and the National Association of People Living with HIV and AIDS of South Africa (NAPWA). Mabele also serves as an office bearer of the South African National AIDSCouncil Women’s sector since 2010. She is a member of the South Africa National AIDS Council Trust and is the The Civil Society Forum Deputy Chairperson.
Raizel Davidow is a partner in the Dispute Resolution Practice at Webber Wentzel.. She focuses on all aspects of insurance litigation and has a particular interest in medical negligence, consumer protection and contractual liability matters. Raizel regularly represents professionals at their respective professional bodies and has advised a broad range of clients in the health, construction and financial services industries.
Robyn is a midwife, integration therapist, soul connection doula trainer and meditation facilitator. Robyn specializes in helping pregnant women release birth fear and create trauma free births for their babies. Robyn wrote The Mama Bamba Way to describe her birth philosophies.
Sally Baker is a social worker with a private practice in Bryanston, Johannesburg where she specializes in supporting families through pregnancy, birth and post partum experiences and transitions. She is an active committee member of the Post Natal Depression Support Association and has developed a specialty in birth trauma counseling and helping families cope with perinatal stress, losses, anxiety, depression and adjustment difficulties.
Susan is a doctoral researcher in the School of Health Sciences, City University London. Her research interest is the provision of respectful obstetric care in the context of the constraints facing health workers in sub-Saharan Africa. This is grounded in the premise that care that does not afford respect and dignity to labouring women also has negative impacts for midwives. Specific interests are the role of professionalism in respectful obstetric care, barriers and enablers of woman-centred care, task shifting and supportive supervision. Her PhD will examine Malawian midwives’ perceptions of the practice, impact and challenges of delivering respectful obstetric care.
In 2007 Susan completed an MSc in Global Health with Trinity College Dublin and has spent the last eight years undertaking research and working with partners in Malawi, Tanzania and Mozambique. The focus of this work has been on mid-level cadres providing obstetric care, including factors affecting their performance and retention, and operational research to introduce supervision and supportive management of these cadres at facility level.