The Frontline Hero in Health Award recognizes on-the-ground health workers who are making a difference in people’s lives.
- 2015: Rose Agbi, Former President, Nigerian Midwives Association
- 2013: Christine Kaseba-Sata, the First Lady of Zambia
- 2012: mothers2mothers
- 2011: Kgomotso Kwenje and Gilbert Khosa of the Bhubezi Community Healthcare Centre
2015: Rose Agbi, Former President, Nigerian Midwives Association
Observing high infant and maternal mortality rates in her homeland, Rose Agbi organized midwives to work as a united front through the establishment of the Midwives Association. Agbi also played a role in creating the Confederation of African Midwives Associations in 2012. With the dedication of healthworkers such as Agbi, progress in women and children’s health across Africa has been immense. Despite the progress made in reducing maternal mortality in Nigeria, more remains to be done. Agbi is optimistic about continuing to reduce maternal and newborn deaths in partnership with the government and community.
Agbi praises the Nigerian government for establishing the Midwives Services Scheme (MSS), which enables midwives (who were previously not employed by the government, or having left or retired from midwifery) to be sent to the rural villages where women are most at risk of dying in pregnancy, childbirth and the weeks after birth, and where children under five are also most at risk.
2013: Christine Kaseba-Sata, the First Lady of Zambia
Dr. Kaseba-Sata gained international recognition as an advocate for increased access to quality obstetric care and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV. She is passionate about helping Southern Africa to meet MDG Goal Five, to reduce maternal mortality by 75%. She has demonstrated exemplary leadership in the public-private partnership, Saving Mothers, Giving Life, focused on reducing worldwide maternal mortality, with Merck for Mothers, USAID and other partners.
Dr. Kaseba-Sata recently launched an ambitious family planning campaign that aims to increase access to contraceptives from 33% of Zambian women to 59% within seven years. She recognizes that when women and families are able to plan how many children to have and when to have them, they are healthier, wealthier, and better able to contribute to Zambia’s burgeoning economy.
Dr. Kaseba-Sata is perhaps best known today as a leader in the fight against cervical and breast cancer in Africa. Her involvement has been instrumental in building Africa’s first cancer hospital and in implementing the “See and Treat” cervical cancer prevention methodology, which uses acetic acid (household vinegar) to effectively screen for pre-cancerous lesions, which can then be treated during the same session with cryotherapy.
GBCHealth is pleased to join Johnson & Johnson in presenting this year’s award to mothers2mothers in honor of its more than 1,500 HIV-positive Mentor Mothers who deliver life-saving information to women who are also HIV-positive. Founded in 2001 at one site in South Africa, mothers2mothers now reaches approximately 250,000 women a year at almost 600 sites in seven countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
The organization trains and employs mothers living with HIV to mentor HIV-positive pregnant women and new mothers in health facilities. These Mentor Mothers work side by side with doctors and nurses as paid members of the health care team, supporting women to deliver babies free from HIV/AIDS and educating them so they can stay alive to raise their families. The program has served as a powerful force in preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV and in helping mothers living with HIV stay healthy.
2011: Kgomotso Kwenje and Gilbert Khosa of the Bhubezi Community Healthcare Centre
GBCHealth, Anglo American and Virgin United are jointly presenting the inaugural Frontline Heroes in Health award. This special tribute honors two healthcare professionals who are delivering life-changing services where they are needed most, making a real and positive difference to people’s lives.
Our honorees are Ms. Kgomotso Kwenje, who manages the Bhubezi Community Healthcare Centre, and her colleague Dr. Gilbert Khosa. These two outstanding health practitioners have returned to serve in the communities where they grew up. There they are delivering primary health services as well as specialist HIV/AIDS and TB care to impoverished rural communities around Bushbuckridge in South Africa.
Their steadfast work is giving hope to a community that previously had no professional medical services, and is ultimately saving the lives of thousands of people.