The PAMCA WiVC LiftHer2 Champions: Inspiring Testimonials from Women Making Strides in Vector-Borne Disease Control


Since 1911, March 8 has been designated as International Women's Day (IWD), a day that is focused on celebrating the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women from all walks of life, across the globe. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating women's equality. To commemorate this year's IWD, we are partnering with various champions and key stakeholders to highlight the role of women in the fight against VBDs. As part of this effort, champions, and stakeholders in VBDs from PAMCA’s network have shared their voices and commitment to eliminating bias and discrimination against women. 

Guided by our strategic plan and global goals, PAMCA’s work to strengthen the role of women in the control of vector borne diseases  is integrated into all our activities. Our Women in Vector Control (WiVC) programme is supporting and empowering women across the continent through mentorship, training and capacity development, networking and collaboration, visibility and excellence recognition, workplace support and non-professional engagement initiatives. Here are some inspiring quotes from women making strides in  Vector- Borne Disease(VBDs) Control

Jaelsa Moreira (Cabo Verde), A participant of the Effective communication in leadership and professional development workshop “Participating in the PAMCA WiVC Leadership workshop and conferences has expanded my network and given me the opportunity to meet other experienced experts working in the field of VBDs, including successful women in this field. The workshop has significantly improved my communication and leadership skills, benefiting both my professional career and personal growth.”

Ookame Ovuya (Botswana), A participant of the Effective communication in leadership and professional development workshop “Receiving the award to attend the leadership workshop was a dream come true and marked a significant milestone for me. I will always be grateful for this incredible opportunity. The leadership workshop had a profound impact on my personal and professional development, improving my communication, interpersonal, and presentation skills, as well as boosting my confidence. Recently, during a field trip focused on a malaria survey, I was assigned the task of mobilizing and educating communities in the survey areas. The skills I gained from the workshop were extremely valuable in this role”.

Victoria Githu (Tanzania), Travel Awardee 2022 “As a mathematical modeler working at a research institute, receiving the travel award to the conference in 2022 was a significant milestone in my career. It provided me with the opportunity to showcase our innovative modeling approaches in mosquito control and disease transmission dynamics. This recognition boosted collaborations and potential funding prospects, elevating my profile within the field of mosquito control, and leading to new career opportunities and collaborations. The award also allowed me to forge valuable connections with experts and organizations, accelerating my professional growth.”

Dr. Celina O. Aju-Ameh (Nigeria), Travel Awardee 2022 “The travel award was a crucial opportunity for me, bridging the gap between attending and not attending the workshop due to financial constraints. Receiving the award had a significant impact on my career and personal development. It boosted my confidence and visibility and empowered me to empower other women. I launched the PAMCA-WiVC-Student Vanguards initiative with the support of PAMCA-WiVC, marking the first step towards a multi-sectoral approach to vector-borne disease control.”

Dr. Zlanneu Rosine Wolie (Cote d’Ivoire), Mentee Cohort I “Before joining the LiftHer2 Mentorship program, juggling my role as a wife, mother and professional with leadership ambitions felt daunting. But thanks to my mentor's guidance, I learned to confidently articulate my career aspirations through self-advocacy. This newfound confidence helped me delegate tasks more effectively and ensure excellence in all areas. So, it's no surprise that I was selected for a new research project, completed my PhD, and even landed a recent lecturer position at a university in Abidjan! This program is a game-changer, especially for early-career women. It's like having a wise friend who has been there, done that, and wants to see you succeed!”

Dr. Patricia L. V. Doumbe Belisse (Cameroon), Mentee Cohort I “At first, job interviews were scary, but I learned to be confident and express myself clearly, I even struggled with unclear career goals. Courtesy of PAMCA WiVC Mentorship Program, my amazing mentor helped me set a vision for the future. Now, I feel unstoppable! Before the end of the program, I was selected among the 20 female science talents sponsored by the Falling Walls Foundation in Germany. Then I got a postdoctoral position at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The program taught me to dream big and set clear goals. This program is amazing. It connects you with people, teaches you lifelong networking skills, and turns your weaknesses into superpowers. Take it from me, it's life-changing!”

Dr. Basiliana Emidi (Tanzania), Excellence Awardee 2023 “Winning the PAMCA women in vector control excellence award will keep on reminding me that, I have a great role to play. There is a lot to be done to eliminate vector borne diseases in the African continent starting from our communities. Through this award, I will keep on encouraging and empower women to fully participate in tackling the vector control challenges and come up with sustainable solutions to have an ‘Africa continent free from vector borne diseases, the Africa I want’. I extend my sincere thanks to the PAMCA-WIVC initiative for this recognition”. 

Krystal Birungi (Uganda), Excellence Awardee 2023 “Being awarded the WiVC excellence award was one of my proudest career achievements. It is so important that my contribution to the field of vector control has been recognized. Entomology remains a male dominated field. As one of the female minorities working in this field, it means everything to be recognized and receive support to encourage other women to pursue similar goals and careers. Women in science and in disciplines like field entomology, often face unique challenges that make it difficult to stay and excel within the field which makes recognition like this more important. This is an amazing initiative that will continue to inspire young female scientists throughout Africa to stay the course and make a difference.”

To get involved or learn more about the WIVC programme, contact us at

Happy International Women’s Day 2024 from all of us at PAMCA.

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