Prof Dixon Chibanda
Director, African Mental Health Research Initiative, Zimbabwe
Dixon Chibanda is professor in psychiatry and director of the Wellcome Trust funded African Mental Health Research Initiative supported by the African Academy of Sciences based in Nairobi, Kenya. He is principle investigator on several research programmes and sits on the editorial board of the Lancet Psychiatry International Journal.
He developed and set up the Friendship Bench, a brief psychological intervention delivered by community health workers which has been successfully scaled up in Zimbabwe and introduced to other countries. He is an Aspen New Voices Alumni. His research interest focuses on the development of interventions delivered by non-professionals aimed at narrowing the treatment gap for mental, neurological and substance use disorders. He is a black belt martial arts instructor and is passionate about using alternative interventions such as tai-chi and karate to enhance resilience in young people.
Dr Yogan Pillay
Since 2008 Yogan has been the Deputy Director-General for health programmes in the national Department of Health. Prior to his appointment as DDG he held the positions of chief director for strategic planning and director for the district health system – all in the National Department of Health. He holds a Phd in public health from Johns Hopkins University. He has authored and co-authored more than 60 peer reviewed journal articles and has co-authored two textbooks (The Textbook of International Health, 2009; The Textbook of Global Health, 2017).
He has been a member of the Scientific and Technical Advisory committees for TB and HIV of the WHO. He co-chaired the HIV treatment guidelines committee of the WHO in 2015/16. He served as a member of the Boards of AMREF (SA), the Health Systems Trust, the BIOVAC Institute, and the National Health Laboratory Service. He is currently a member of the board of trustees of the South African National AIDS Council and the board of the Council for Medical Schemes of South Africa. In addition, he serves on the scientific advisory boards of UNAIDS and the TB Alliance.
He has been a member of the ministerial committee on National Health Insurance and continues to lead the national effort to develop service benefits for various levels of care.
In 2018 he was awarded the Karel Styblo Medallion and presented with a certification of appreciation for leadership in the global fight against tuberculosis by KNCV.