Global Health Giants -Part 2 (Sorry!)

Afro Health Initiative
3 min readNov 29, 2020

Written by Sellma Mahi, Chief Marketing Officer for AHI

Apologies, we ghosted you all. Sorry — we took some time out to figure out what we wanted to speak to you about next. Whilst we are figuring this out, here is something we promised a while back.

For BHM we spoke about two pretty impressive people within global health: Professor Jacqueline Dunkley-Bent OBE and Dr Charles Odametten Easmon. Today, we intend to (finally) give you that part 2.

Professor Konotey-Ahulu is the first person known to have traced a hereditary disease in his forebears, generation by generation, all with names, right back to 1670 AD⁣ -(that is “who do you think you are?” level of research. Incredible).

Felix Israel Domeno Konotey- Ahulu was born in Ghana. He trained at London University(UCL and Westminster Hospital school) in Medicine in 1959 and obtained his doctorate in 1972. A fellow of the Ghaha Academy of Arts and Sciences, he was awarded the Academy’s Gold medal in 1974 for the most “outstanding contribution to knowledge in the Medical Sciences by a Ghanaian”. It is because of his work on genetics and sickle cell disease. In 1999 he published a paper called: “The Human Genome Diversity Project: Cogitations of an African Native”. Here he traced the sickle gene all the way back to 1670 AD using the fact it was called by other names by the different African tribes. It was a rare to find this type of genetic genealogy. It lead to the development of genetic epidemiology as a discipline.

He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Foundation Award for outstanding research in Sickle Cell Anaemia, the Guinness Award for Scientific Achievement in the Commonwealth.

Liya Kebede is an Ethiopian-born model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer, and actress. She has appeared on the cover of Vogue three times. Kebede has served as the WHO’s Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health since 2005. Liya founded the Liya Kebede Foundation which aims to reduce maternal and new-born and child mortality globally and especially in Ethiopia. The organisation funds advocacy and awareness-raising projects as well as providing direct support for low-cost technologies, community-based education and training and medical programs. She has travelled to Ethiopia to support such projects for example in 2009 Liya worked with the Bill & Melinda gates Foundation as part of their Living Proof Project.

She is also part of the champions for HIV -Free generation, an organisation of African leaders led by Former president of Botswana , Festus Mogae.

That wraps up our profiles — finally.

We will now take a (properly announced) break so we can comeback with better content that matches us where we are as an organisation.

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Afro Health Initiative

Afrocentric brain gain​ platform engaging Africa’s diaspora for healthcare development