Seattle, March 8, 2019 - Malaria No More launched a new campaign today on International Women’s Day to celebrate women leaders in the fight against malaria. From grassroots activists to heads of state, women leaders are stepping up the fight to save millions from malaria. Women innovators, community activists, icons and health leaders are helping to save the world’s most vulnerable from one of the world’s deadliest diseases.

Pregnant women and children are among the most vulnerable to malaria. Malaria infection during pregnancy carries substantial risks for the mother, her fetus and the newborn child. Pregnant women are four times more likely to suffer from malaria than other adults. This preventable disease still kills a child every two minutes.

“Women leaders are using their voices and actions to advance people’s health and protect the most vulnerable against malaria,” said Olivia Ngou, Deputy Director for Africa at Malaria No More and founding member of the Global Civil Society for Malaria Elimination Network. “When you can ensure women and children are healthy, you can change a country’s entire trajectory.”

Women are fighting malaria through research, innovation, advocacy, treatment, changing behaviors in their communities and more. There are countless women past, present and future working to ensure no one dies from a mosquito bite.

By identifying some of the women leaders stepping up the fight against malaria, Malaria No More seeks to expand the list celebrating different women fighting malaria in an ongoing campaign.

Below is Malaria No More’s list of women leaders in the malaria fight by category:


Global Health Gamechangers

• H.E. Aïssata Issoufou, First Lady of Niger

• Dr. Soumya Swaminathan, WHO Chief Scientist

• Dr. Margaret Chan, Former Director-General of WHO

• Laura Bush, Former First Lady of the United States

• Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa

• Dr. Carissa Etienne, WHO Regional Director for the Americas

• Dr. Dyann Wirth, Richard Pearson Strong Professor of Infectious Diseases, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

• Dr. Mirta Roses Periago, Director Emeritus of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO)


Political Changemakers

• H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Former President of Liberia and End Malaria Council Member

• Rt. Hon Penny Mordaunt MP, Secretary of State for International Development, UK

• H.E. Dr. Awa Marie Coll Seck, Former Minister of Health and Social Action of Senegal

• H.E. Stéphanie Seydoux, French Ambassador for Global Health

• Congresswoman Nita Lowey, Chairwoman, United States House Committee on Appropriations

• H.E. Dr. Diane Gashumba, Rwanda Minister of Health

• Congresswoman Kay Granger, Ranking Member, United States House Committee on Appropriations

• H.E. Julie Bishop, Former Australian Foreign Minister


Movers & Shakers in the Malaria Community

• Dr. Kamini Mendis: Independent Consultant in Malaria and Tropical Medicine, Colombo, Sri Lanka

• Dr. Winnie Mpanju-Shumbusho, RBM Partnership to End Malaria Board Chair

• Joy Phumaphi, Executive Secretary of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA)

• Professor Maha Taysir Barakat, RBM Partnership to End Malaria Executive Chair Elect

• Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, Author and Storyteller


Malaria Pioneers & Innovators

• Dr. Tu YouYou, Chinese scientist and Nobel Prize Recipient

• Dr. Rose Leke, Emeritus Professor of Immunology and Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Yaounde, Cameroon

• Dr. Caroline Buckee, Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Associate Director of the Centre for Communicable Disease Dynamics at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

• Professor Azra Ghani, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology, Imperial College London

• Professor Maureen Coetzee, Director, Wits Research Institute for Malaria

• Dr. Caroline Jones, Senior Social Scientist, KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme


Boots on the Ground

These women are the boots on the ground. They go door to door, walking miles to rural communities, and dedicate their time to save the lives of their neighbors. We’re grateful for the work of health workers all over the world, including those who in 2018 worked to ensure countries are making progress, from reducing the malaria burden to eliminating the disease altogether.


Philanthropic Visionaries

• Melinda Gates, Co-Chair, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

• Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Goodwill Ambassador for the UN, RBM Partnership to End Malaria, UNICEF

• Noëlla Coursaris Musunka, Ambassador for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

• H.R.H. Princess Astrid of Belgium, First Royal Special Representative for RBM Partnership to End Malaria


Emerging Malaria Trailblazers

• Olivia Ngou, Deputy Director for Africa at Malaria No More and founding member of the Global Civil Society for Malaria Elimination

• Elise Mballa Meka, Mayor of rural commune in Yaoundé, Cameroon

• Clementina Akinyi, RBM Partnership to End Malaria Champion