Miriam Were

Professor Miriam Were is a former Chairperson of the Kenyan National Aids Control Council and current Chancellor of Moi University.

She is world renowned public health advocate whose efforts to bring basic medical services and health rights to women and children have been a beacon of hope for millions of Africans.

As the Chairperson of Kenya’s National AIDS Control Council from 2003 to 2009, Professor Were provided strong leadership and orchestrated a balanced AIDS response that has enabled Kenya to consistently register a reduction of HIV prevalence and AIDS-related mortality. Through strong advocacy support from her, Kenya’s national health budget increased three times between 2003 and 2007.

As Chairperson of the International Board of the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF), Professor Were has presided over the expansion of the work of AMREF such that the budget for AMREF’s work in eastern and southern Africa, as well as in South Sudan and Somalia, has increased by a multiple of four. With a strong continental training reach, AMREF has also expanded its programme of work to West Africa.

Professor Were is the co-founder and Director of the UZIMA Foundation, which focuses on youth empowerment. She has used her medical and development expertise and wisdom to encourage and promote positive behaviour among young people.

Professor Were has won numerous awards for her outstanding contributions to the health sector, including the 2008 Hideyo Noguchi African Prize and, in 2005, Kenya’s Elder of the Order of the Burning Spear for her distinguished service rendered to the nation, as well as the Queen Elizabeth II Gold Medal for Public Health in the Commonwealth in 2007.