Medical researcher Avis Anya Nowbuth is inspiring a new generation of health workers to tackle the issue of antimicrobial resistance. After studying medicine in Lusaka, Nowbuth joined the Pan-African Organisation for Health, Education and Research, and her “entire life changed”. Nowbuth has since created a programme that engages with students from Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and South Africa. She attributes her success to being fearless: “Don’t allow insecurities about age or experience prevent you from making a big demand,” she says. Her programme, I_AMResponsible_Africa, empowers students to be leaders in the field of drug resistance research, which is particularly important in South Africa, where multidrug-resistant organisms are rife. Nowbuth doesn’t shy away from aiming high, her ultimate goal being to improve health on a global scale. “I want to be able to direct and coordinate health for nations, provide leadership and determine paths for research,” she says.
I am driven by an unshaken desire to see African countries such as South Africa become the “Wakanda” we know it can be.