Lenias Hwenda is a recognized international health affairs expert, influential thought leader and practitioner who has contributed at the highest stage of international health affairs working with African governments in the World Health Organization for more than a decade. She has participated in numerous intergovernmental negotiations to address the health needs of vulnerable people around the world on various issues including global pandemic preparedness, non-communicable diseases and addressing the global shortage of health workforce. Lenias recently co-chaired the historic World Health Organization negotiations between governments on improving the transparency of markets for medicines, vaccines and other health products during the World Health Assembly in 2019.
Lenias is the Founder and CEO of Medicines for Africa, a social enterprise that provides sourcing services to buyers of medicines in African countries using economies of scale. She is a consistent tireless advocate who uses her deep knowledge and understanding of public health, international affairs and global health security to drive initiatives that improve service delivery for underserved communities. She runs a podcast called “Let´s Talk about health in Africa” underpinned by her conviction that health security is a pre-requisite for resilient African economies and sustainable development.
As a practitioner, Lenias has worked at community level in a number of countries on the continent driven by her passion for improving the health of people in Africa and her belief that good health is the key to improving individual productivity which in turn is the best way to lift people out of poverty and build resilient sustainable economies. To protect African economies, African governments must protect health otherwise economic development gains remains fragile.