Home / News and Blog / News / Diaspora Health Champions Awards ceremony celebrates the Experts In Our Midst
Back to blog

Diaspora Health Champions Awards ceremony celebrates the Experts In Our Midst

19 March 2024


The Tropical Health & Education Trust (THET) with generous sponsorship from Insignia Global Partners hosted the inaugural Diaspora Health Champions Awards ceremony on Monday 18 March at the Royal College of General Practitioners.

On the evening, diaspora healthcare workers were joined by health sector leaders and key policymakers to mark the inspiring contribution that diaspora are making to advancing global health, both in the UK and their countries of heritage.

THET is dedicated to championing the expertise of diaspora staff working in the NHS and UK independent sector, with emphasis on how their knowledge of different health systems can benefit progress to quality, affordable health coverage for all. Our work on this programme began with the publication of the Experts in Our Midst report in December 2021, and has progressed recently with the publication of the Voices of the Experts in Our Midst report, launched in Westminster and at the Welsh Senedd in December 2023 and January 2024.

Ben Simms, THET Chief Executive Officer, said: “The UK health system could not function without internationally recruited staff. They bring a wealth of understanding of how healthcare is delivered in diverse settings. That knowledge is being used to improve health here in the UK, and in countries of heritage, and it’s well worth celebrating.”

Mr Simms continued: “Each individual award receipt has been carefully selected by their organisation. It is a credit to those organisations, as well as the individuals, that we are hearing such powerful testimonies about health  being improved around the world.”

The full list of Diaspora Health Champions Awards recipients is:

  1. Margaret Baron-Catuday, Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
  2. Dr Zedekiah Sibanda, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board
  3. Professor Syed Saeed Ashraf, Swansea Bay University Health Board
  4. Charles Kanavati, Practice Plus Group
  5. Sifiso Sibanda, Spire Hartswood Hospital
  6. Maria Rickards, Vanguard Healthcare Solutions
  7. Olawale Oladimeji, East London NHS Foundation Trust
  8. Richard Holder, Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust

Moses Mulimira and Kokila Swamynathan also received special awards at the event, for their contribution to the development of THET’s Experts In Our Midst Programme. Kokila, who was on secondment from NHS Wales to THET for a year in 2023, helped develop and define the scope of this programme. Moses has worked tirelessly with colleagues to create the long-running UK-East Africa Health Summit, and inspired much of the thinking around the Experts in Our Midst. We are delighted that Moses has now joined THET on secondment from NHS England for 2024 to continue his excellent work. 

The evening event was also marked with inspirsing speeches from our host, Dorcas Gwata, Justin Ash (THET Chair of Trustees), Lord Nigel Crisp KCB (THET Patron), H. E. Nimisha J. Madhvani (High Commissioner of Uganda to the UK), Professor Kamila Hawthorne MBE (Chair of RCGP Council), and Hon Prof Sue Tranka (CNO Wales).

Awards were kindly presented by THET Patron, Lord Crisp, and Chief Nursing Officer (Wales), Sue Tranka.

THET is deeply grateful to Insignia Global Partners, and the healthcare providers who have supported and enabled the inaugural Diaspora Health Champions Awards for their ongoing encouragement of our work to celebrate the staff we affectionately call “The Experts In Our Midst”.

This post was written by:

THET - External Engagement Team


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.