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Inaugural 'Health Worker Leadership' Award Honors Kenyan Nurse-Midwife, IntraHealth Senior Leader

In celebration of our 30th anniversary, IntraHealth established the Pauline Muhuhu Leadership Award in 2009 to recognize health workers, or those who have spent their careers in support of health workers, who are at the heart of IntraHealth’s mission vision and work.  We know that health workers, including nurses and midwives, medical officers and doctors, community health workers, lab technicians and pharmacists, are essential to any functional health system, and the tag line on our new logo reflects this—Because health workers save lives

We see this award filling a unique niche in drawing attention to health workers and the vital role they play in the health and well being of our families and communities.  We have selected Pauline Wambui Muhuhu, a Kenyan nurse-midwife and longtime leader at IntraHealth, to be the first recipient, and have named the award in her honor. This annual award will recognize health workers who dedicate their careers to improving health care in underserved regions of the world. Going forward, we will establish a formal review panel to accept nominations and select the recipients.

Pauline is currently a senior advisor on the USAID global Extending Service Delivery Project, where she focuses on best practices in reproductive health, with an emphasis on family planning. When she joined IntraHealth in 1981, she did not foresee a career with an international NGO. She had settled into the academic world in Kenya, teaching community and mental health at the University of Nairobi. Having completed a nursing-midwifery and master’s degree, she had planned to return to school for a PhD.  Before she knew it, she found herself the director of training in IntraHealth’s first regional office, for Anglophone Africa, based in Nairobi.

The rest is history.  For the past three decades, Pauline has inspired, mentored, and challenged countless INTRAH and now IntraHealth staff, colleagues, and partners to live up to commitments of health for all—health care that is high quality, accessible, affordable, equitable, and sustainable. Pauline has dedicated her career to strengthening health systems and the delivery of primary health care, and improving the professional lives of thousands of nurses and midwives throughout East and Southern Africa. 

This is what Pauline has offered so generously these many years, and what inspired IntraHealth to establish and offer this award to Pauline, in commemoration of our 30th anniversary.