A little about us.
Dr. Richard Lester is the founder and chief medical lead for WelTel. Richard designed and lead the original RCT that showed that two-way SMS communication with patients could improve health outcomes (Lancet 2010). Richard is trained as an infectious disease physician, and completed a five year research fellowship in innate immunology in Kenya. Richard has been successful in acquiring grants at the highest level and honour including the PEPFAR/CDC, the NIH and Grand Challenges Canada. He is also engaged at the highest global level and has presented WelTel’s program and scale up plan to the W.H.O, the offices of the Global Health Coordinator (OGAC) in DC, the Economist Health Care in Africa conference, and many international mHealth summits and conferences.
Antony M. Khaemba has a BSc in Nursing from the University of Nairobi and is currently undertaking a Master’s in Health Economics. He has over 5 years of demonstrated public health and research experience, with the Aga Khan University Hospital, coordinating projects in the areas of HIV, MNCH, PMTCT and is passionate about delivering services to Kenya’s poorest and hardest to reach.
Collins Mesongo Sibuti holds a BSc in Computer Science from the University of Nairobi and has a Diploma in Object Programming. He is experienced in full-stack software technology development with proficient skills in both back- and front-end development.
Victor Odhiambo Olago holds a BSc in Information Technology and has several years of experience working with SAS and STATA datasets and managing SQL databases. He previously worked as a Data Manager with KEMRI/CDC HIV on studies in Kisumu and as a Data Officer for Nyanza Reproductive Health Society.
Rawia Abdi Galma holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. She previously worked for WelTel as an intern and as a Research Assistant at Kenya National Bureau of Statistics.
Gabrielle Serafini, DC, lived and worked in Africa for over 13 years. She has extensive experience in fundraising, and was an assistant to the director during the conceptual and development phase of WolaNani, an HIV/AIDS organization in South Africa that tackled complex issues in the early days of the epidemic. Gabrielle also works in the healthcare field and has a holistic and comprehensive perspective around health of both individual and community.
Edwin Levy, PhD, served as a Senior Vice President of Corporate Development of QLT Inc. Mr. Levy oversaw the formation and management of QLT's strategic alliances, the commercialization of devices and intellectual property issues regarding QLT's portfolio of patents. He served as a Vice President of Corporate Development at QLT Inc. Ed led strategic planning and managed strategic alliances at QLT Inc., which he helped build into a global leader in biopharmaceuticals. He is VP and Treasurer of the Illahie Foundation which supports innovative social and environmental initiatives including program-related investments. He serves on the boards of the following organizations: the Neil Squire Foundation, the BC Civil Liberties Association, WelTel, and Oncolytics Biotech, and until recently, Pivot Foundation and Coast Social Enterprise Foundation. Ed is also adjunct professor at the W. Maurice Young Centre for Applied Ethics at the University of British Columbia and is part of a research team studying Intellectual Property and Policy relating to genomics.
Thomas Peter, PhD, is the owner and CEO of asm, a social marketing agency in Switzerland, which helps not-for-profits and charities solve some of the most urgent social problems. Since its founding in 1979, asm has earned a reputation as a partner that can channel independent research into practical proposals, and move strategic planning into operations, implementation and funding. The company helped develop and refine strategies on a range of policy issues to accelerate the advancement of public health; to reduce hunger and poverty; to protect innocent bystanders, prisoners and the wounded in war; to empower those with disabilities in society; and to improve the conservation of many ecologically important regions. Thomas supports the movement of research initiatives to emerge from their “silos” and then develops the research in overlapping subjects based on multi-disciplinary approaches. He has been working in both the academic and private sector, and in many countries including Switzerland, Sweden, Germany, Canada and Zimbabwe. As a former director of the Swiss Red Cross Zurich and member of the board of the Swiss Red Cross, he also has firsthand, on the ground experience with all facets of charity work. He serves on the boards of various companies in Switzerland and Germany. Thomas is also very well versed in the creation and direction of the policy around the Sustainable Development Goals for the UN.
Saaya Tema, a respected member of the Il Ngwesi Maasai community, has extensive experience in health issues affecting pastoral peoples, and has been an advocate for HIV testing and awareness, bringing programs to his remote community. After volunteering for 6 months in both Kenya and Canada, Saaya was the recipient of a Canada World Youth scholarship that allowed him to travel to Canada and study in Kenya to obtain a degree in Business Management. Saaya was instrumental in obtaining donor funds to complete the construction of the Lokusero Hospital in Il Ngwesi. He also spearheaded a solar panel project that supplies water and power to several schools and clinics in the Lokusero community. He currently works for the Laikipia County Government and is responsible for the employment of all county staff.
Bonface Beti Beti has a Communications Degree from Daystar University and has worked with high risk and marginalized groups for many years. Bonface is an advocate for those that are in greatest need in both urban and rural settings and has been an activist for these communities for over a decade.