108N, Munk School of Global Affairs (1 Devonshire Place)
  • March 11, 2016 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm

Speaker: Honorable Professor Nkandu Luo, the current Minister of Gender and Development in Zambia

Gender norms and inequalities have considerable impact on maternal and child health (MCH) outcomes in Sub-Saharan Africa. Child marriage and discrimination against women and girls are contributing to maternal mortality and poor birth statistics in the region, as women’s limited control over family resources, and other social factors, impede uptake of antenatal services. As the current Minister of Gender and Development in Zambia, and former Minister of Health, Professor Nkandu Luo is fighting to improve MCH outcomes in Zambia through gender-integrated programs and interventions.

This presentation and informal conversation with Professor Luo will focus on effective policy measures and strategies for strengthening actions on-the-ground and improve the lives of women in many parts of Africa. Also, given the considerable global and Canadian government focus on MCH in recent years, the discussion will shed light on how best foreign actors and academic institutions can participate in addressing related challenges.

Honorable Professor Nkandu Luo is the current Minister of Gender and Development in Zambia. She has also previously served as Minister of Health, Minister of Transport and Communications, Minister of Local Government and Housing, and Minister of Chiefs and Traditional Affairs. She was the first woman Professor of microbiology and immunology in Zambia and has served as Head of Pathology and Microbiology at the University Teaching Hospital, Lusaka, Zambia. Apart from her training in Microbiology and Immunology, she pursued studies in Immunopathology of infectious Diseases and Epidemiology and Medical Statistics. At the same time, she has been active in developing a range of programs in Zambia. For example, she established the National AIDS Control program which was later transformed to the National AIDS Council. She also established Zambia’s National Blood Transfusion Services; Voluntary Counselling Services (VCT); and the Prevention of Mother to Child Transmission of HIV/AIDS (PMTCT) program. She has published many articles in various journals, contributed to books on HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and other infectious diseases. She has spoken at many international conferences and forums on a range of development topics, but in particular, issues on gender, HIV/AIDS, TB, Malaria and other infectious diseases around the world. She is also the founder of the Tasintha Program, an organisation that Transforms sex workers, the Society for Women and AIDS in Zambia (SWAAZ), a program that has been working on women and children’s issues in the light of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

This event is co-sponsored by the Office of Global Public Health Education & Training, Dalla Lana School of Public Health and the Centre for Global Engineering, University of Toronto.