Ugandan youth leader scoops global health award

Patrick Mwesigye, a Ugandan youth leader has been awarded the Global Youth Leadership Award on Universal Health Coverage (UHC).

Mwesigye was awarded by World Health Organization, African Union and the Access-Challenge at the sidelines of the recent 2019 United Nations General Assembly in New York at the One by One: Target 2030 Achieving UHC: A Sustainable Future for Africa.

Basically, the award goes to phenomenal young people that have extraordinarily worked to promote adolescent and young people’s health issues and advocate for their central position in the Universal Health Coverage agenda

The award was presented to him by former Tanzanian President Dr. Jakaya M. Kikwete and Dr. Githinji Gitahi, the co-chair of UHC2030-WHO and CEO of Amref Health Africa.

Mwesigye, 28, is the founder and team leader of the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum, a dynamic youth-led organization that seeks to advance  quality health and well-being of adolescents and young people and promote gender equality at the community, national and global level. Their focus is on sexual and reproductive health and rights, maternal and child health, gender equality, ending child marriages and entrepreneurship and skills development.

Mwesigye says the goal of the organization is to promote quality health and well-being for adolescents and young people and gender equality in the context of universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals.

At the award-giving ceremony, it was noted that the Uganda Youth and Adolescent Health Forum recently conducted a survey and produced a report titled; Achieving Universal Health Coverage in Uganda – Needs, Challenges and Experiences of Adolescents and Young People with Uganda’s Health Care System. The report from the survey was presented to policymakers and young people are using it to advocate and demand for Universal Health Coverage approaches that respond to their needs and rights.

Handing over the award, Gitahi noted that “Patrick is indeed a disruptor and a star, a true representation of the incredible work and impact that young people can create if well empowered, supported and meaningfully involved.”

“This award comes at the right time and clearly matches our incredible and outstanding work as a dynamic youth-led and youth-serving organization in mobilizing and amplifying the voices of adolescents and young people to not only meaningfully participate but also influence and shape policies, programs and decision making processes that affect their health and well-being,” Mwesigye noted.