Kenyan honored at global Heroines of Health gala event in Geneva

WGH Honorees Mercy Owuor (right) and Dr Sharmila Anand (left) in Geneva. PHOTO: COURTESY.

Geneva, SWITZERLAND: Mercy Owuor of Lwala Community Alliance is among 12 women honored by The Women in Global Health (WGH) Movement during the “Heroines of Health” gala event that took in Geneva, Switzerland.

The event took place on the margins of the ongoing 70th World Health Assembly (WHA), the main decision-making body of the World Health Organization (WHO), that opened at Geneva-based UN headquarters this week.

Mercy was on Sunday evening recognized for her role in the “help a child reach their 5th birthday” initiative that is championed by the Lwala Community Alliance initiative.

The initiative based in Migori, western part of Kenya, strives to extend clinical services and community outreach efforts to children under the age of 5, in order to reduce the mortality rate of children in that age bracket in the community by 64%.

Mercy Owuor is the community programs director for Lwala Community Alliance and she oversees the Kenya program team, leads and directs the execution of the annual program plan.

In 2016, the Alliance was selected as one of the 17 Social Enterprises that took part in the HealthymaginationMother and Child Program, an accelerator initiative of GE Healthymaginationand the Miller Center for Social Entrepreneurship.

Designed to equip the participating social enterprises to scale up their businesses and attract additional investment, the program involves a three-day and an in-person workshop.

It is followed by a six-month online accelerator program that includes weekly, in-depth mentoring from Silicon Valley-based executives who themselves have undergone rigorous selection and training as social entrepreneur mentors at the Miller Center, as well as GE business leaders.

Participating social entrepreneurs get to acquire business fundamentals, improve their strategic thought processes, and articulate a business plan that demonstrates impact, growth and long-term financial sustainability.

Robert Wells, Executive Director, GE Healthymagination congratulated Mercy for the recognition, adding that social enterprises such as these are a key part of the formula that is required to innovatively and sustainably bring quality care to communities in otherwise undeserved areas.

“We are thrilled for Mercy and for the Lwala Community Alliance for this well-deserved recognition.It is for this reason that we launched the healthymagination Mother and Child programme to equip amazing individuals such as Mercy that are striving to increase the quality,access and affordability of maternalandchildhealthinsub-Saharan Africa.” Said Robert.

WGH is a movement that strives for greater gender equality in global health, and is dedicated to empowering female leaders of today and improving the global health of tomorrow.

As one of the key partners of the WGH movement, GE Healthcare actively supports its’ vision to elevate and support the role of women in healthcare, whilst creating gender responsive leaders in global health.