Why We Advocate
Nine PATH advocates share the inspirations behind their work.
For the past 40 years, PATH has been a gathering place for incredible minds. We've developed devices, vaccines, diagnostics, and other medical-related programs to end preventable diseases for a global population. This innovative, bold work is PATH’s origin story.
But this innovation is only part of any global health equation. We also need supporters. And not just any supporters. We need advocates who have an intimate and thorough knowledge of their communities and the health policies that exist there. We need to know how to implement our innovations in ways that actually make a difference.
PATH is incredibly fortunate to have advocates who are relentless in their pursuit of solving the global health inequities that lay before them. These people help our organization think through the environmental and community footprints we create and the systemic barriers that persist. With the help of our advocates, PATH can make more informed decisions about how we engage with policymakers, influencers, and citizens. In other words, it is our advocates' knowledge that allows PATH to transform delivery and access of the medical innovations that will change the lives of people around the world. They are the remarkable denizens hungry for health equity. They provide the context, boldness, and clarity we need. Without these people, PATH wouldn't be what it is today.
We asked a few of our advocates to share their inspiration for dedicating their lives to global health. Here's what they said:
"Successful advocacy leading to the passage of a law to protect women and their children in Kakamega County encouraged us to continue to press for investments in health—so that every woman and child can fulfill their potential."
–Pauline Irungu, Advocacy and Policy Manager, Nairobi, Kenya
Seventeen years of advocating for policies to improve maternal, newborn, and child health; HIV prevention, treatment, and care; gender and human rights in health; and global health research and development.
"Having worked as a health administrator in a rural public health facility, I faced the wrath of addressing systemic challenges affecting the Ugandan health system. Since then, advocacy to address these systemic impediments and deliver quality health services has been my passion. It is my hope that one day, health will be high on the national agenda and prioritized by our civil leaders."
–William Kidega, Deputy Chief of Party/Advocacy and Partnership Specialist, Uganda
Twelve years of advocating for citizens’ access to high-quality health services.
"I'm passionate about women and children receiving the best quality health care services that allow them to reach their full potential. We've made so much progress in Kenya, including protecting children from pneumonia, and the future is bright. But there's still much more work to do."
–Wanjiku Manguyu, Policy and Advocacy Officer, Kenya
Nine years of advocating for the development of strong policies to support maternal, newborn, and child health and sexual and reproductive health in East Africa.
"I have a four-year-old daughter, and while I was pregnant with her, I lost five friends due to excess bleeding during childbirth. This experience inspired me to join the fight against preventable deaths among women giving birth and inspired my advocacy work for availability and accessibility of quality maternal drugs, especially oxytocin."
–Hasifa Naluyiga, Senior Advocacy Officer, Uganda
Fourteen years of experience in policy advocacy for family planning and maternal and child health.
"As advocates, we often work behind the scenes. We are trying to keep the conversation—in public and private—focused on the consequences of inaction, which can be measured in lives lost needlessly to preventable disease."
–Guy Bokongo, Advocacy and Policy Manager, Democratic Republic of the Congo
"A major source of pain and suffering among poor women in Peru is the inability to control their fertility and be masters of their futures. I am an advocate because I believe that sexual and reproductive rights should not be conditioned by how much you have, where you live, who you know, or how much you know."
–Milka Dinev, Regional Advisor, Reproductive Health Supplies Coalition, Peru
Thirty-five years of experience in the management of development projects, including administration, accounting, and finance.
"After my sister passed away from AIDS, I refused to accept that this pandemic could defeat the collective efforts of mankind. I became a health advocate. Today, what keeps my fire burning is the many women and children whose lives we are helping to improve."
–Monica Mutesa, Technical Advisor, Zambia
"Growing up in Kenya, the rape of a 14-year-old neighbor and my young cousin's pregnancy spurred me to become an advocate for girls and women. Today, I feel hopeful. At PATH we are developing programs that are improving the health and general well-being of women and girls."
–Rosemarie Muganda, Acting Regional Advocacy Director, Kenya
"For me, there is no wealth without health, and that is the real case for investment in health research and development."
–Yolanda Moyo, RN, MSc. Senior R&D Policy Advocacy Officer, South Africa
Eleven years of advocating for access to new lifesaving health technologies for those most in need regardless of where they are in the world.