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Plenary speakers

Plenary speakers

Confirmed plenary speakers for CCGH 2021 include:

Hon. Kwaku Agyeman Manu
Minister of Health, Ghana

Kwaku Agyeman Manu is a Member of Parliament (MP) for Dormaa Central in the Bono Region of Ghana. He has been MP for Dormaa West and Central for two terms and now serving his 3rd term.

He is a product of the University of Ghana where he had his Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics and Statistics. He also attended the London School of Accountancy where he chartered as a management accountant. He is an affable and astute politician and served in various leadership positions in Government between (2001-2009).

He served as Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Interior, Finance, Roads and Transport, Transport and Communication and also served briefly as the Ag. Chief Executive of the National Health Insurance Authority. He was elected an MP for Dormaa Central Constituency when his party went into opposition.

His leadership skills and competence made him the choice to be initially the Vice-Chairman and later as the substantive Chairman for the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament where he distinguished himself and excelled by unearthing several financial malpractices in Ghana’s Public Accounts.

He is recognised in the region as an executive member of the West African Association of Public Accounts Committee (WAAPAC), the Commonwealth Association of Public Accounts Committee (CAPAC) and the African Region Public Accounts Committee (AFROPAC).

Kwaku Agyeman Manu is a highly skilled professional and politician. He is the Minister for Health for the Republic of Ghana and also the Board Chairman for the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) headquartered in Geneva. He has quite recently been elected as an alternate member of GAVI (Global Alliance for Vaccines and Immunisation)

Prior to taking up the position of a Deputy Minister in Former President Kufour’s administration, he was the Director of Finance for Toyota Ghana Co. Ltd.

 

Seye Abimbola

Utrecht University

Seye Abimbola is a health systems researcher who studies community engagement in governance, decentralised governance, and the role of governance in the adoption and scale up of health system innovations. He is the current (2020-22) Prince Claus Chair in Equity and Development at   Utrecht   University in the Netherlands, a senior lecturer in global health at the University of Sydney in   Australia, and the editor in chief of BMJ   Global Health.

 

David Addiss
Task Force for Global Health

David Addiss, MD, MPH is Director of the Focus Area for Compassion and Ethics (FACE) at the Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, GA, USA (https://www.taskforce.org/face). After working in migrant health as a general medical practitioner, David studied public health at The Johns Hopkins University and worked as a medical epidemiologist at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1985-2006), where he focused on neglected tropical diseases and co-directed the WHO Collaborating Center on Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis in the Americas. He directed the Fetzer Institute’s research program on science and spirituality (2006-2010) and led the Children Without Worms program at the Task Force (2011-2016). David is an adjunct professor at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University.

 

Emefa Apawu
Multimedia Group limited. Ghana

Emefa Apawu has worked for the multimedia group of companies (MGL) which includes JOY 99.7fm, Joynews on TV, Adom fm, Asempa Fm, Joy Prime, Hitzfm, Luv 99.5fm, MyJoyOnline.com in Ghana from 2017 till date. Undoubtedly the leading media outfit with coverage in all 16 regions of Ghana MGL offers independent, fearless and credible Journalism.

She Anchors the flagship daily midday news and evening news program on Joy 99.7fm.

Her Sunday evening program created in March 2020 purposely to educate Ghanaians on Ghana’s management of the novel coronavirus led by government and the COVID-19 taskforce became a reference point for the Ghanaians populace who were at the time helpless. The platform was offered to government officials to provide hope and cure every misinformation.

The program was singled out for an award by the country’s Journalism Association. Emefa Apawu has a significant number of years in broadcasting which started in 2003. She also has a taste of the world of business following her short stint with the Ghana Chamber Of commerce and industries as the Public Relations and also the administrative secretary of a cable manufacturing company REROY cables..

When she is not Anchoring the news, or hosting she produces locally made Black mild and hot Pepper Sauce “Quiqui Shito” or designing and sewing African clothing for children.

Hélène Carabin

Université de Montréal

Dr. Hélène Carabin holds a Doctorate in Veterinary Medicine (1992) and a Masters of Veterinary Clinical Sciences (1994) from the Université de Montréal, as well as a Doctorate in Epidemiology from McGill University (1998). She is a Professor in the Department of Pathology and Microbiology of the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine and in the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine at the School of Public Health of the Université de Montréal.

Holder of the Canada Research Chair in Epidemiology and One Health, her research team is looking at evaluating the added value of the One Health approach to not only control zoonoses, but also to improve the health of humans and animals.

Dre. Hélène Carabin détient un Doctorat en Médecine Vétérinaire (1992) et une Maîtrise en Sciences cliniques vétérinaires (1994) de l’Université de Montréal, ainsi qu'un doctorat en épidémiologie de l’Université McGill (1998). Elle est Professeure titulaire au département de Pathologie et Microbiologie de la Faculté de Médecine Vétérinaire et au Département de Médecine Sociale et Préventive à l’École de Santé Publique de l’Université de Montréal.

Détentrice de la Chaire de Recherche du Canada en épidémiologie et Une seule santé, son équipe de recherche se penche sur l’évaluation de la plus-value de l’approche Une seule santé pour non seulement contrôler les zoonoses, mais aussi pour améliorer la santé des humains et des animaux.

Timothy Caulfield
University of Alberta

Timothy Caulfield is a Canada Research Chair in Health Law and Policy, a Professor in the Faculty of Law and the School of Public Health, and Research Director of the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta. His interdisciplinary research on topics like stem cells, genetics, research ethics, the public representations of science and public health policy has allowed him to publish over 350 academic articles. He has won numerous academic, science communication, and writing awards and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. He contributes frequently to the popular press and is the author of two national bestsellers: The Cure for Everything: Untangling the Twisted Messages about Health, Fitness and Happiness (Penguin 2012) and Is Gwyneth Paltrow Wrong About Everything?: When Celebrity Culture and Science Clash (Penguin 2015). His most recent book is Relax, Dammit!: A User’s Guide to the Age of Anxiety  (Penguin Random House, 2020) (US Title: Your Day, Your Way). Caulfield is also the host and co-producer of the award-winning documentary TV show, A User’s Guide to Cheating Death, which has been shown in over 60 countries, including streaming on Netflix in North America.

Thoko Elphick-Pooley
Uniting to Combat NTD, G7 Taskforce on Global Health

Thoko Elphick-Pooley is the Executive Director of Uniting to Combat NTD and Co-Chair of the G7 Taskforce on Global Health. Born and educated in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe in business administration and international development. Thoko has a wealth of experience in strategic leadership, partnership development and institutional relations. Currently working in Global health, in the field of Neglected Tropical Diseases, as Executive Director of the global secretariat for Uniting to Combat NTDs.

Uniting to Combat NTDs is a unique and powerful coalition of global health institutions, pharmaceutical companies, international non-governmental organisations, philanthropic organisations, donor countries and the governments of countries in which NTDs are endemic, working together to end the suffering caused by Neglected tropical diseases that affect more than a billion of the poorest people on the planet.

Prior to working at Uniting to Combat NTDs, Thoko was leading the institutional funding team at Sightsavers, overseeing the growth of institutional funding as a source of income for the organisation which grew from 8% in 2009 to over 40% by 2015. Prior to joining Sightsavers, Thoko worked for Education Action in London, Practical Action in the UK and Kenya, CIVICUS in South Africa and a number of organisations in Zimbabwe including for UNESCO.

Thoko is married to Jeremy and has a daughter named Jazz and a Son-in-law named Will. Thoko enjoys travelling with her family by road, and has navigated overland, cross-country trips for her family in East and Southern Africa and most recently driving from the UK to the Morocco desert and back over a three-week period.

Tim Evans
McGill University

Tim joined McGill University in September 2019, as the Inaugural Director and Associate Dean of the School of Population and Global Health (SPGH) in the Faculty of Medicine and Associate Vice-Principal (Global Policy and Innovation). He joins McGill after a 6 year tenure as the Senior Director of the Health, Nutrition and Population Global Practice at the World Bank Group. From 2010 to 2013, Tim was Dean of the James P. Grant School of Public Health at BRAC University in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and Senior Advisor to the BRAC Health Program. From 2003 to 2010, he was Assistant Director General at the World Health Organization (WHO). Prior to this, he served as Director of the Health Equity Theme at the Rockefeller Foundation. Earlier in his career he was an attending physician of internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and was Assistant Professor in International Health Economics at the Harvard School of Public Health. Tim has been at the forefront of advancing global health equity and strengthening health systems delivery for more than 20 years. At WHO, he led the Commission on Social Determinants of Health and oversaw the production of the annual World Health Report. He has been a co-founder of many partnerships including the Global Alliance on Vaccines and Immunization (GAVI) as well as efforts to increase access to HIV treatment for mothers and innovative approaches to training community-based midwives in Bangladesh. Tim received his Medical Degree from McMaster University in Canada and was a Research and Internal Medicine Resident at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He earned a D.Phil. in Agricultural Economics from University of Oxford, where he was a Rhodes Scholar.

Margaret Gyapong
University of Health and Allied Sciences

Professor Gyapong has a disciplinary background in Medical Anthropology and Cultural Epidemiology with a PhD from the University of Basel. She is interested in research impact and has been a leader in this area bringing together the experiences of research institutions in Africa, Asia and Europe. In the last 25 years, Professor Gyapong has risen through the ranks of the research ladder to become a seasoned and internationally renowned Scientist. In 2005, she was Director of the Dodowa Health Research Centre. From humble beginnings at the Centre with few partners, Professor Gyapong attracted significant funders and grants to the institution on projects related to Health Systems, Neglected Tropical Diseases, Malaria, TB and Maternal and Child Health, Sanitation, Social Protection among others. She works at the intersection between health research and practice building research capacity at both national and international levels. Professor Gyapong leads the authorship and facilitation of workshops, task forces and  demonstrates international leadership through service on several task forces, steering committees and working groups for the World Health Organization (Geneva), the Task Force for Global Health (Atlanta), the Standing Committee of the National Institute of Health (Washington DC) to mention a few. In Academia, Professor Gyapong holds professorial, adjunct professorial and senior lecturer positions at University of Health and Allied Sciences, Georgetown University, Brunel University and University of Ghana, and has supervised several masters and PhD students.

In January 2017, Professor Gyapong joined the University of Health and Allied Sciences in Ho Ghana where she is currently the Director of the Institute for Health Research and coordinates activities of the centre for health policy and implementation Research. In the same year, she was one of twelve women honoured by women in global health during the World Health Assembly to receive the first ever Heroines of Health award for her work drawing attention to the needs of women suffering from the consequences of Neglected Tropical Diseases. Professor Gyapong’s groundbreaking work in this field has driven much of our understanding of the gendered effects of NTDs, and female genital schistosomiasis. Recently, Professor Gyapong has received several noteworthy grants. She leads a Healthcare Utilisation Study to assess the rollout of the RTS,S malaria vaccine in Ghana (PATH) an IDRC grant on maternal and Adolescent health and in the final stages of EDCTP grant entitled, “The SAVING Project” to build capacity to address implementation challenges for Sustainable Access of New Vaccines in Ghana.

She is a reviewer and associate editor for a number of international journals and has 94 publications to her credit.

Catherine Kyobutungi
African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC)

Catherine holds a PhD (2006) in Epidemiology from the University of Heidelberg, and a Master of Science (2002) in Community Health and Health Management. She is the Executive Director at the African Population and Health Research Center (APHRC). She was formerly the Director of Research and has served APHRC in several leadership roles over the past decade, having joined as a Post-Doctoral Fellow in May, 2006.

Catherine is an Alumnus of the University of Heidelberg having completed her doctoral studies in Epidemiology in the then Department of Tropical Hygiene and Public Health, under the auspices of the Graduertienkolleg 793 in April 2006. She also obtained a Master of Science degree in Community Health and Health Management in 2002 from the same department. Prior to her graduate studies, Catherine studied Medicine at Makerere University, Kampala after which she worked as a medical officer at Rushere hospital, a rural health facility in Western Uganda for three years. Before and during her graduate studies, she was an Assistant Lecturer and later a Lecturer in the Department of Community Health at the Mbarara University of Science and Technology, where she was part of the response team during the Ebola outbreak in Uganda.

Catherine has served on numerous boards, panels, and expert groups, including the INDEPTH Network Board of Directors and the Advisory Council of the Carnegie African Diaspora Program at the Institute of International Education. She was the inaugural Chairperson of the Kenya Epidemiological Association. Her research interests include migrant health, community participation in health, and the epidemiology of non-communicable diseases.
Catherine is driven by the belief that Africa has the potential to solve its own problems and she tries to make her own contribution, however small.

Rachel Kiddell-Monroe
SeeChange Initiative

Rachel Kiddell-Monroe is a lawyer, a humanitarian, and an advocate. As a thought leader on reimagining humanitarian health crisis response, Rachel promotes values of humanity, justice, and solidarity in all aspects of global health.  Unafraid to challenge the status quo, Rachel demonstrates how we can and must take a new approach in responding to health crises.  The decolonized approach to humanitarian action she proposes is inclusive, participative, co-created and, most importantly, inspired and led by communities to address their health crises, their way. 

To demonstrate a new way of doing, Rachel founded SeeChange Initiative in 2018. This Canadian charitable organization supports Indigenous and other vulnerabilized communities globally to co-create innovative CommunityFirst solutions, including the CommunityFirst COVID-19 Roadmap, to organize, prepare and respond to health crises.

This initiative builds on Rachel’s lifelong dedication to humanitarian work and speaking out against injustice. In 1989, she left her legal practice to work on Indigenous rights and East Timorese independence with grassroots organizations in Indonesia— a pivotal and formative experience. From there, Rachel joined Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and headed emergency humanitarian missions in Central and Eastern Africa as well as Latin America.

Witnessing the profound global inequity in access to medicines, Rachel became the founding President of Universities Allied for Essential Medicines. She recently served as a Director on MSF's highest governance platform supporting calls to reimagine humanitarian action through decentralizing governance. She continues to serve on MSF Spain’s board in particular advancing the anti-racist agenda and decolonisaiton discussions. As a Professor of Practice at McGill University, where she completed her LL.M in Bioethics, Rachel teaches annual courses on Decolonizing Humanitarian Action.

Kelsey Lemon 
Canadian Red Cross

Kelsey has worked the international development and humanitarian sector for almost 20 years, specializing in partnership management and capacity strengthening initiatives. Kelsey has managed projects and programs spanning from child protection, livelihoods, private-sector engagement, and organizational capacity building in 20+ countries in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Kelsey first joined the Canadian Red Cross in January 2016 as National Society Development and Partnership Advisor, responsible for supporting CRC’s global capacity strengthening programs, and working to improve CRC partnership management practices. In 2019, Kelsey led the development of the CRC Localisation Approach, to transform and modernize how CRC supports and enables local partners to lead humanitarian action in their respective contexts. In June 2020, Kelsey moved into the role of Senior Director, Global Programs, leading the portfolio of international recovery and long term capacity strengthening programs.

Kelsey currently hold the role of Vice-President, International Cooperation and Programs, at the Canadian Red Cross.

Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela
World Health Organization

Dr Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela is Director of the Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases of the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Until her appointment in December 2018, Dr Malecela was Director in the Office of the WHO Regional Director for Africa in Brazzaville, Congo, with responsibility for providing policy, managerial and diplomatic advice to the Regional Director.

Before joining WHO in April 2017, Dr Malecela served as the Director General of the National Institute for Medical Research, United Republic of Tanzania – the first woman to occupy this post – and as the founding Director of the Tanzania Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination Programme. She worked for 30 years at the National Institute for Medical Research, starting as a junior scientist in the field of lymphatic filariasis and later working on the immuno-epidemiology of filarial infections and running treatment programmes.

Dr Malecela holds a BSc in zoology from the University of Dar es Salaam and an MSc and PhD in parasitology from the University of London (London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine), where she specialized in filarial immunology, specifically mechanisms of filarial immune evasion. She has served on a number of international committees, including the Technical Advisory Group of the Global Programme to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, the Mectizan Expert Committee, the Trachoma Expert Committee and the advisory board of the Initiative on Public–Private Partnerships for Health. Dr Malecela also chaired the WHO Neglected Tropical Diseases Regional Programme Review Group for Africa and was a member of WHO’s Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases and the Medicine in Need Steering Committee on Innovation, Alliance and Translation Management. Dr Malecela has been involved in a number of philanthropic organizations including the Msichana Initiative, established to advocate empowerment for the rights of girls. Dr Malecela has authored several publications in peer reviewed journals and is the recipient of a number of awards in recognition of her work against neglected tropical diseases.

Shailey Prasad
University of Minnesota

Shailendra (Shailey) Prasad, MD MPH is the Carlson Chair of Global Health and the Executive Director of the Center for Global Health and Social Responsibility at the University of Minnesota, Professor and Vice-Chair of Education at the Dept of Family Medicine and Community Health at the University of Minnesota, Adjunct Professor at the School of Public Health, and a Fellow at the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. He is also an honorary visiting professor at the University of Cape Town, South Africa, and Udayana University, Denpasar, Indonesia. He has been inducted into the Academy of Excellence in the Scholarship of Education at the University of Minnesota.

Dr. Prasad is the co-director of the Rothenberger Leadership Academy, a cohort-based leadership training program at the University of Minnesota. He is the co-lead of the CDC funded National Resource Center for Refugees, Immigrants and Migrants (NRC RIM) and the NIH/Fogarty funded Northern Pacific Global Health consortium. He is also a founding member and part of the leadership team of Advocacy for Global Health Partnerships.

Dr. Prasad has worked in underserved areas including rural areas for 3 decades as a clinician, has conducted health services research and has been engaged in education across disciplines. For the past 15 years he has been part of the Rural Health Research Center at the University of Minnesota. He is actively involved in the growth of academic primary care and global health research training across various parts of Africa, India, Thailand, and South America as part of Family Medicine Global Education Network (Fam Med GEN). He has also been involved in academic department strengthening and mentorship training across various universities.

Pamela Roach
University of Calgary

Dr. Roach is an Assistant Professor in the Departments of Family Medicine and Community Health Sciences at the University of Calgary and is also the Director, Indigenous health education in the Office of Indigenous, Local and Global Health for the Cumming School of Medicine. She is a PhD health researcher and member of the Métis Nation of Alberta who has worked in a variety of academic and community health care settings, both in Canada and the UK, over the last 18 years. Her research focuses on Indigenous health; brain health and dementia in underserved populations; and developing anti-racism educational interventions.

Max Seunik
Young Diplomats of Canada

Maximillian ("Max") Seunik is a global health professional, impact investor, and civic community builder. Most recently, Max worked on Grand Challenges Canada's investments team, which directs capital to scaling up innovations with a proven impact on health in low- and middle-income countries. Max is also CEO of Young Diplomats of Canada and a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum.

Theresa Tam
Government of Canada

Dr. Theresa Tam was named Canada's Chief Public Health Officer on June 26, 2017. She is a paediatric infectious disease specialist with expertise in immunization, emergency preparedness and global health security.

Dr. Tam obtained her medical degree from the University of Nottingham in the U.K. She completed her paediatric residency at the University of Alberta and her fellowship in paediatric infectious diseases at the University of British Columbia.

She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada and has over 55 peer-reviewed journal publications in public health. She is also a graduate of the Canadian Field Epidemiology Program.

Dr. Tam has held several senior leadership positions at the Public Health Agency of Canada, including as the Deputy Chief Public Health Officer and the Assistant Deputy Minister for Infectious Disease Prevention and Control. During her 25 years in public health, she provided technical expertise and leadership on new initiatives to improve communicable disease surveillance, enhance immunization programs, strengthen health emergency management and laboratory biosafety and biosecurity. She has played a leadership role in Canada's response to public health emergencies including severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), pandemic influenza H1N1 and Ebola.

Dr. Tam has served as an international expert on a number of World Health Organization committees and has participated in multiple international missions related to SARS, pandemic influenza and polio eradication.