About the category

The Inspirational Award category is for women who have been affected by NTDs themselves and have made significant contributions in supporting others.

Winner of the Inspirational Award

Aciro Grace Oyat (54 years old, Abera Village, Lamwo District, Uganda)

Grace began volunteering as a community drug distributor in 2007. This was during a challenging period of LRA insurgency in Uganda, which saw large populations living in congested camps, occupied by internally displaced persons. Grace was the only woman working in these hard to reach conflict affected areas. When her son was affected by river blindness, Grace’s family wanted him to be treated with traditional medicine but Grace ensured that her son was treated with Mectizan® and by treating her own son, she gained the trust of her community.

Finalists for the Inspirational Award

Sabitri Rani Roy (in her 40s, Bangladesh)

Sabitri has suffered from Leprosy since the age of 16. Despite the limitations of her condition, Sabitri trained to be a tailor and started a business to train other women and girls affected by Leprosy. To date Sabitri has trained over 100 women, empowering them, and in the process helping to reduce leprosy stigma in the community.

Brigitte Jordan (32 years old, Spain)

Brigitte contracted Chagas disease in Bolivia before moving to Spain where she was eventually diagnosed and treated. Determined to help other people facing the same symptoms and challenges, she studied to become a health agent and patient advocate. Brigitte now works for Mundo Sano in Madrid, providing information about Chagas to patients on a toll-free line and helping allay doubts and fears patients may have about the current available treatment.

Birke Nigatu (61 years old, Ethiopia)

Birke contracted Leprosy when she was just six years old. Although she is now cured, she is still affected by the long term disabilities more than 50 years later. Birke was excluded from formal education and severely stigmatised, but she saved money to seek treatment at the local hospital and then went on to launch an embroidery business for other women affected by leprosy.