Harlem Pediatrics, 2010-2011
Current Title/Organization: Strategy Manager, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI) Location: Oslo, Norway
Current Title/Organization: Strategy Manager, Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI)
Location: Oslo, Norway
How are you an Advocate for health equity today?
Professionally, I have always been driven by two beliefs: first, that vaccines are an unbelievable public health intervention because of their cost-effectiveness and scalability; and second, that decisions in global health should be made equitably. I have worked in global health most of my career, but often I have been the only African woman in rooms where discussions revolved around health in Africa. This needs to change.
The vaccination itself is the outcome of a well-functioning system – not just the right science. Getting a person vaccinated requires addressing financial, operational, and political elements within that system. Vaccines are expensive; transporting them is logistically complex, and policymakers need to address issues like vaccine hesitancy and vaccine nationalism.
Decision-makers within this system should be representative of the populations for whom the system is designed, and they should advocate for equitable access to vaccines. My job is to develop the strategy for CEPI, an organization that focuses on developing vaccines so epidemics are no longer a threat to humanity. Doing so is a core part of my advocacy for health equity among decision-makers who work in global health.