Nominees for International Women's Day 2023 by the Hub Community on Global Women's Health

06. März 2023 I  Women's Health  I von : Maureen McGowan and Priscilla Owusu

Our Hub Community on Global Women's Health is honoured to announce seven distinguished nominees for International Women's Day 2023.

Nomination: Manvi Tiwari

Manvi Tiwari is a mental health activist and had moved the needle on mental health advocacy in her home country of India and far beyond globally. As a person with lived experience and as a caretaker to a family member with mental illness; she channels this experience into passion and aims to increase awareness of mental health and aims to end the stigma surrounding it.

Manvi already has a long list of accomplishments- on top of her current Bachelors in Communication/Media Studies at Mithibai College- she currently serves as a Global Youth Ambassador at Theirworld (a campaign for education access). She has also served as an Editorial Volunteer at the United Nations, served as a member of the Psychosis Participatory Research Working Committee for the Lancet, and currently works as on the Executive Committee for the Global Mental Health Peer Network and on the Young People’s Action Team at UNICEF. In addition, she has recently been asked to join the MQ Mental Health Research Study (a study looking at the interconnection between brain, body, and environment on mental health outcomes) as a Lived Experienced Expert and has recently been nominated and selected to join the Women in Global Health Chapter.

These are only a few of the many accomplishments which Manvi holds and we are very excited to see all of the future accomplishments she will hold. Thank you Manvi for your ongoing dedication to the improvement of mental health!

Nomination: Delia Strunz

Delia Strunz currently works as Director of Government Affairs & Policy at Johnson & Johnson Germany and in this capacity, she operates at the intersection between business, community, health, and politics. She is particularly engaged with data & digital health policy and excited about the potential that digitalization could bring in terms of supporting health care professionals and patients, i.e., through telemedicine applications or the use of artificial intelligence (AI) in healthcare.

Delia maintains a long list of accomplishments throughout her over 30 years of experience in the healthcare sector. After first becoming a nurse, she studied at the Humboldt University/Charité in Berlin to get a teaching-diploma of nursing care. Thereafter, she received a qualification as “Manager of Public Affairs” as well as an MBA of "Public Affairs & Leadership" from Quadriga University of Applied Sciences in Berlin. Further qualifications include a certificate of “Global Public Health” and a certification in “Elements of AI” from the University of Helsinki.

Delia has been working for many years in research-based health care companies (AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson). Her main interest and expertise are in health policy and, ultimately, in improving healthcare through effective public affairs work.

We are particularly excited to nominate Delia Strunz based on her immense contributions in the field of women’s health and empowerment. Delia serves on the advisory board of “Women in Global Health Germany” and in this capacity, she leads the Women’s Mentoring Program which pairs experienced and young female professionals in global health to support women in achieving their professional goals.

Nomination: Kathrin Yen

Prof. Dr. Kathrin Yen is not only monumental but inspirational in her dedication towards violence prevention, intervention, and support for victims of violence- especially for women and children. She currently serves as the medical director of the Heidelberg Gewaltambulanz (“Violence Outpatient Clinic”) through the Institute of Forensic and Traffic Medicine- the first ever of its kind in Baden-Württemberg.

Dr. Yen studied medicine in Innsbruck, Austria, and then completed the specialist training forensic medicine in Frankfurt am Main (Germany) and Bern, Switzerland. Thereafter she became the director of the Forensic Institute in Graz and opened the first violence outpatient clinic in Austria which offered around-the-clock forensic medical examinations and collection of evidence of those affected by violence. Since then, she has opened the Heidelberg Gewaltambulanz which provides free-of-charge examinations for survivors of physical or sexual violence, last year alone this service was provided to 650 people (if you or anyone you know may be in need of this service, please find their link here). Since then, similar Violence Centers have been opened in Ulm and Freiburg in 2021 and the opening of a center in Stuttgart is in progress. Dr. Yen is also influential in her research surrounding violence identification and prevention - a monumental study being the ARMED project (Augmented Reality based, forensic Medical Evidence collection and Documentation) which allows partner clinics and pediatricians outside of Heidelberg to conduct violence examinations with a “companion” forensic medicine specialist through the use of augmented reality glasses. Dr. Yen and her colleague Dr. Löffler are also credited with launching Guide4You in Heidelberg which is a guiding service to psychosocial support for victims of violence. Finally, Dr. Yen has also advised ministries and institutions on legislation for forensic care.

We are honored to have Dr. Yen provide and advocate for these fundamental and necessary services. Thank you Dr.Yen for your ongoing dedication to violence prevention and intervention!

Nomination: Maureen Dar Iang

Dr. Maureen Dar Iang is currently a researcher at the Heidelberg Institute of Global Health (HIGH) and a consultant (project manager) for evaplan GmbH. She is a public health clinician with over twenty-five years of professional experience working in international health overseas. She has made immense impact in the areas of maternal & child health and female empowerment in Nepal.

Dr. Dar Iang was educated as a medical doctor in Myanmar and worked at rural hospitals in Myanmar and Nepal providing both in-patient and out-patient services. In addition to her work as a medical doctor, she contributed to the Nepal health system reform and in health system strengthening in which she contributed with over twenty years of work experience in Nepal over periods of civil conflict, a large-scale earthquake, the COVID-19 pandemic, and decentralisation towards a Federal State. In this capacity she worked directly with district-level health systems in Nepal to increase availability and functionality of services for maternal and child health care services and advised local non-governmental organizations empowering women. Furthermore, she worked as advisor to the Ministry of Health leading a technical team which advised government; supported the development of government-owned systems for implementing and monitoring quality of care; designed and tested innovations to better reach vulnerable populations residing in challenging geographical environments; and collaborated with multi-stakeholder partners (government, donors, and faith/civil society partners). Dr. Dar Iang has been instrumental in her work alongside the Nepalese Ministry of Health to formulate and develop various national strategies surrounding maternal & newborn health, nursing and midwifery, as well as primary healthcare. 

In addition to her work as a medical doctor and in health policy, Dr. Dar Iang has also worked on empowering women and children through the training of local women’s groups, training of female health volunteers, and facilitating child-to-child, and adolescent's peer-to-peer learning classes.  In these capacities she worked alongside grass-root level non-governmental organizations as well as bilateral and multilateral organizations including FCDO (DFID), the World Bank, and faith-based organizations focusing on women’s capacity enhancement and empowerment. Additionally, she currently supports humanitarian work in her home country, Myanmar, which has been affected by a military coup and civil war since February 2021 through local community-based organizations (CBOs) and non-governmental organizations (NGOs). 

We thank Dr. Dar Iang for all of her work surrounding women’s health from community to policy level!

Nomination: Prof. Dr. Miriam Taegtmeyer

Prof. Dr. Miriam Taegtmeyer is a committed clinician and global health implementation research scientist. She has been conducting HIV and community health research in Kenya for over 20 years. In 2002 she founded, and continues to work closely with, LVCT Health a Kenyan NGO of international standing working at the community/health system interface. It has provided HIV testing and counselling (HTC) for over 5 million Kenyans, pioneered services for vulnerable groups and has trained ~4000 health care workers. Her early research in Kenya spearheaded the first published descriptions of a successful approach to the rapid scale-up of quality assured HIV testing services at community level in high prevalence countries, a vital contribution to the global HIV response. The cost-effective scale-up model was first adopted in Kenya and her research has led to changes in HIV policy and strategy in Kenya, Namibia, Tanzania and Malawi and is referenced in WHO HIV testing and counselling guidelines. Adolescent girls and young women continue to be at high risk of HIV and addressing their specific needs and supporting HIV prevention, care and treatment will be essential.

Her community work on HIV testing through outreach, door-to-door and HIV self-testing kindled a lifelong love of community health. Miriam’s passion for community-led solutions has led her to collaborate with community health workers and volunteers (a largely female workforce) in actively tackling avoidable and unfair differences in health. As head of the community health systems group at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine she has conducted research on the equity and effectiveness of community health workers in over 15 countries. During the pandemic her team leveraged learning from the global south to tackle COVID-19 vaccine inequity in Liverpool’s most disadvantaged communities, significantly increasing vaccine uptake among vaccine hesitant women of reproductive age. They are currently expanding work in Liverpool to other health issues alongside their research in Western Kenya rigorously evaluating community approaches to improved antenatal care.

We thank Prof. Dr. Miriam Taegtmeyer for all her work surrounding women’s health from community to policy level.

Nomination: Prof. Dr. Anna Mia Ekström

Prof. Dr. Anna Mia Ekström is a clinical professor in infectious disease epidemiology focusing on HIV and leader for the Global and Sexual Health (GloSH) research group at the Department of Global Public Health, Karolinska Institutet (KI). Her training and professional qualifications include a medical degree (MD) from Uppsala University, Master of Public Health (MPH) from the Harvard Chan School of Public Health, USA, a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in medical epidemiology (KI), Senior clinical consultant in infectious diseases at the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm.

Over the last two decades Prof. Dr. Anna Mia Ekström has led many large international research projects in the areas of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), HIV, gender in resource-poor, high-risk contexts and sub-populations (young people/adolescent, HIV discordant couples, slum residents, migrants, men who have sex with men and people who inject drugs).

Most of her research has been performed in Eastern and Southern Africa, but also in Asia, North America and across Europe including Sweden, working closely with academia, civil society and public and global institutions. The domains of her research involve, but are not limited to, social norms related to gender, SRHR, COVID-19 and women’s economic empowerment, stigma and quality of life among people living with HIV, behavioral economics and health economic evaluation of health programs, implementation & interventions, mobile phone health (mHealth) and eHealth (WelTel PMTCT) RCT, surveillance, reminders, non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Sub-Saharan Africa: cardiovascular disease, hypertension and diabetes, as well as migrant studies in relation to social norms, HIV, SRHR and gender.

Prof. Dr. Ekström has a combined clinical professorship position at the Karolinska Institutet (KI) and the Karolinska University Hospital in Stockholm, Sweden and works part-time as a senior clinical specialist in Infectious Diseases and HIV. 

We thank Prof. Dr. Ekström for all her work surrounding women’s health from community to policy level.

Nomination: Marianne Tellier

Marianne is a Public Health professional with +15 years work/field experience, a BSc/MSc Public Health from the University of Copenhagen and MSc in Health Policy, Planning and Financing from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine/London School of Economics.

Marianne's interest in reproductive/global health and women's health started early; most notably in Tibet where she did a consultancy regarding midwifery skills training and saw first hand that so many women were dying in childbirth due to lack of basic resources. Since then she has worked with (and published) research, NGO and grant management, health policy, health care financing, and health programming focused on global and reproductive health, working for organisations such as the Global Fund, UNFPA, GIZ, DANIDA, the University of Copenhagen and several Danish, American and Ugandan NGOs.

Between 2012 and 2015 Marianne co-founded her own award-winning NGOs WoMena and WoMena Uganda, which work towards bridging the gap between innovations and implementation of reproductive health solutions for key and vulnerable populations in Denmark, Uganda and the East African region.

Marianne has worked full-time on WoMena’s activities in Uganda and now supports WoMena’s executive arm on a voluntary basis. She currently works full time on grant management at the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis & Malaria on risk management within HIV programs and global health financing, as well as grant management for several African and Asian portfolios since 2011. She has worked in Benin, China/Tibet, Tanzania & Uganda.


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