In celebration of Women’s History Month BLFA is honoring the legacy of female physicians who have made and continue to make history in Africa. Follow us on social media where we have highlighted the accomplishments of these women throughout the month.
Kate Westmoreland is a pediatric hematology oncologist whose research focuses on optimizing treatment outcomes for children with cancer in conjunction with UNC Project Malawi. She is only the second physician in this field in the entire country of Malawi. BLFA has the honor of supporting her work with our partner UNC Project Malawi.
Kristin Schroeder is a Pediatric Hematologist specializing in Neuro-Oncology working in Tanzania. She is one of only two physicians in the entire country who treat children with any form of cancer. Dr. Schroeder hopes that one day she won’t be needed to provide this care because there will be enough trained local doctors in the region. Alongside her team, she has established an innovative pediatric cancer unit where she provides a holistic approach to cancer treatment. BLFA has the honor of supporting her work through our NGO partner ICCARE.
Josephine Nambooze became the first female physician in East Africa, specifically Uganda, when she graduated medical school in 1959. Growing up she had to complete her science classes at an all-boys school. She was the first female in attendance at Makerere University School of Medicine. She continued to break glass ceilings for women in Uganda when she became the first woman to head the country’s Public Health Institute.
Ng’endo Mwangi was Kenya’s first female physician. She studied in the United States where she was the first African woman to attend both Smith College and Albert Einstein College of Medicine. After completing her studies she returned to Kenya to establish her first practice where she was the only doctor for over 300,000 Maasai people.
Ester Mwaikambo became Tanzania’s first female physician in 1969. In 1987 she established the Medical Women Association of Tanzania to mentor and inspire other young women to pursue medicine. Today she is a professor of pediatrics and is planning to transition to writing books on pediatrics and child health.