Climate and Health: Empowering Women and Youth to Drive Climate Solutions
March 9, 3:15 – 4:14 pm EAT
In an increasingly unstable climate, displacement, water scarcity, and unreliable food systems make it harder for many populations to get the basic food and sanitation resources they need – thereby increasing susceptibility to disease. Despite being a global challenge, the repercussions of climate change disproportionately affect low- and middle-income countries, including African countries. In order to mitigate the growing risks of climate change, we must ensure that health systems are prepared and resilient enough to protect populations across Africa. This session will bring key intersecting issues to the forefront, outlining the urgent multisectoral action needed to strengthen health systems and address the growing burden of climate change on populations in order to promote health security. The session will also amplify existing efforts of African nations, such as Botswana, Senegal, and Ethiopia, that are taking initiative to combat climate change.
The conference is free and open to all, register here to attend the session.
- Lois Quam, the president and chief executive officer of Pathfinder International, a leader in sexual and reproductive health and rights for women and youth with offices in more than 20 countries. Under Quam’s leadership, Pathfinder has expanded work in West Africa, advanced comprehensive sexual and reproductive health and rights programming, promoted the transition to country-based leadership that leverages and empowers local expertise, and launched a funding vehicle to support and grow work on women-led climate resilience. Additionally, Quam has established a more than 60-member President’s Council that brings together leaders and experts from around the globe to serve as ambassadors for Pathfinder’s work. Before joining Pathfinder, Quam served as a senior leader in the non-profit, public, and corporate sectors, bringing a lifelong commitment to women’s empowerment, universal healthcare, and the environment in the U.S. and abroad.
- Riaz Mobaracaly, Pathfinder International’s country director in Mozambique. He is a proven leader in public health with more than 13 years of experience in the management and implementation of national, provincial, and district level health programs with specific focus on sexual and reproductive health, maternal and newborn health, and HIV & AIDS. He joined the team in Mozambique in 2013 as director of clinical services and assumed the role of senior country director in 2016. Before joining Pathfinder, Riaz spent seven years within the Mozambican Ministry of Health in different capacities and has made substantial contributions to the current status of reproductive health outcomes throughout Mozambique. He has worked hard to develop and increase the technical abilities of staff at the community- and health facility-level, serving as the medical chief officer at district and provincial level for the Sofala Provincial Health Directorate, the director of the Department of Human Capital within the Government of Nampula and the provincial director of health in Nampula.
- Prof Joachim Osur, Technical Director, Amref Health Africa. He is Associate Professor of sexual and reproductive health and also the, Dean School of Medical Sciences at the Amref International University. He is a public health, reproductive health, and Sexual Medicine specialist with a wide experience in health programming in the African context. He has contributed immensely in health systems strengthening, health policy development and development of health delivery models that have impacted thousands of lives in various countries in Africa. Among others, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Medicine and Surgery, a Master’s Degree in Public Health, and a PhD in reproductive health; a Membership of the American College of Sexologists and a Fellowship of the European Committee on Sexual Medicine.
- Joshua Amponsem, Executive Director, Green Africa Youth Organization. He is an environmental and climate activist. He is an Adaptation Fellow at the Global Center on Adaptation (GCA) and the founder of Green Africa Youth Organization (GAYO). Joshua focuses on the role of youth in Climate Change Adaptation, Disaster Risk Reduction, and Resilience Building. He is the lead author of the first-ever background paper on youth and climate change adaptation which provides a pathway for youth engagement in global adaptation efforts. In Ghana, he is leading the Water for Adaptation and Sustainable Communities Project – where he builds the capacity of youth to support community resilience through ecosystem-based adaptation measures, sustainable agriculture practices, circular economy and disaster risk reduction.
- Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, Regional Director for UNFPA East and Southern Africa. She joined UNFPA in 1995 as a National Programme Officer and thereafter as a Programme Specialist in Swaziland and Kenya, before she served at UNFPA Headquarters as Technical Advisor, HIV/AIDS, and later as Special Assistant to the Executive Director. More recently, she has held UNFPA Representative posts in Tanzania and in South Africa. Before joining UNFPA, Dr. Onabanjo worked for Planned Parenthood as Programme Director and prior to this, she worked for the Ministry of Health in Nigeria. Dr. Onabanjo holds a Bachelor’s Degree in biology from the University of London and a Medical Doctor degree from the University of Zambia, in addition to a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.