Dr. Gwladys Kouakou on the far right, accepting her Award.
Dr. Gwladys Kouakou, Muso’s Senior Learning and Innovation Manager is a proud recipient of Women in Global Health’s (WGH) 2023 Heroine of Health Award in recognition of her leadership and role in promoting women's and girls’ reproductive health and rights. Dr. Gwladys is a public health professional with expertise in Côte d’Ivoire’s community health, women's health, and universal health coverage and she has actively led various projects to promote women’s health and reproductive rights over the past decade. She received the award during an awards’ ceremony held on the sidelines of the Women Deliver Conference in Kigali, Rwanda on July 19th.
When she joined Muso’s growing team in 2022, Dr. Gwladys brought with her a wide breadth of experience directing successful health training programs and a personal drive for ensuring equitable and accessible health care for women and children. Over the last decade of her public health service, Dr. Gwladys has trained hundreds of health professionals, directed care delivery teams, and managed projects focused on technological innovation, nutrition, mental health, and reproductive health.
Since joining Muso, Dr. Gwladys, along with her colleagues on Muso’s Learning and Innovation team, has trained nearly 250 CHWs and 16 CHW Supervisors — the majority of whom are women — on the delivery of reproductive and maternal health services in remote rural communities. These CHWs and their supervisors serve as the frontline of the health system for their communities, overcoming barriers of distance, infrastructure, and gender inequality to become a lifeline for women and children.
The contributions of Dr Gwladys and her fellow Heroines of Health laureates are essential to changing global health systems for the better because unfortunately, women remain relegated to the background when it comes to decision-making for themselves and their children. Through training and close collaboration, Dr. Gwladys transfers important knowledge and skills to health professionals and women which ripple out to their larger communities. This is exemplified in her accompaniment of midwives and medical personnel to ensure safe deliveries and promote quality care for mothers and babies in the Muso’s partner health facilities in Côte d’Ivoire.
Training of midwives on the use of NASG for safe childbirth and management of postpartum hemorrhage
Dr. Gwladys aspires for her work to support a new generation of women who are able to access and receive quality healthcare for themselves and their children.
“Waking up every morning, I remind myself that the value of a person is not defined by their riches, but rather by the positive impact they have on those around them. Seeing women on a journey of self-discovery to achieve total bodily and social autonomy while maintaining their health, that is my core motivation.” — Dr. Gwladys
Dr. Gwladys' devotion to advance the rights of women and girls in Côte d’Ivoire to make decisions about their bodies and their healthcare inspired WGH to name her as one of this year’s 12 Heroines of Health. Through her contributions at the intersection of health care delivery, health worker training, innovation, and advocacy, she has contributed to saving the lives of countless women.
Dr. Gwladys posing with other Heroines of Health awardees.
Through this recognition, Dr. Gwladys Kouakou becomes the second member of the Muso family to receive the Heroine of Health Award. Dr. Mariam Cissé, Urban Site Coordinator in Yirimadio, received the award in 2022.