Brian wins the “120 Under 40” global contest

September, 2016
New York, U.S.

Mr. Brian Mutebi, the EDOU’s Founder and Executive Director is a winner of the “120 Under 40” global contest organised by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. The campaign sought to recognize 40 young people under 40 years making significant contribution and “positive disruptions” with a great vision for the future in the areas of family planning and reproductive health. They include journalists, medical doctors and service providers, advocates, researchers, and founders of nonprofits. They work all over the world – in clinics and universities, in offices, and in the field—to advance family planning and reproductive health.

Brian got nod for this honour because of his extensive writing and advocacy for reproductive health. Through well researched articles, Brian is helping demystify cultural beliefs undermining uptake of family planning services. He has written articles to demonstrate that the use of contraceptives would help in averting deaths due to unsafe abortions and brought to national and international attention family planning and reproductive health issues affecting the most vulnerable women such as women living with disabilities and in hard-to-reach areas.

The 120 Under 40 was a very competitive global contest that saw 300 persons nominated globally from whom 40 winners were selected. “We were thrilled by the caliber of the nominees in this first year of 120 Under 40, and these 40 winners are truly an outstanding group,” said Jose “Oying” Rimon II, Director of The Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health and chair of the 120 Under 40 Jury. “With these young leaders at the helm, the family planning movement and its commitment to protecting health and saving lives are in excellent hands.”

Speaking at the Population Council in New York City at the celebrations hosted by the Gates Institute, Brian explained his motivation for championing the health and rights of girls and women. “I grew up in a community where people believed the use of contraceptives causes children disability, where women had no choice in determining the number of children they should have,” Brian said. He then shared his experience working as a journalist, “I encountered deep-seated resistance to family planning services where men cut their wives with razor blades to remove implants, and girls, because of lack of access to contraceptives, die from unsafe abortions. I decided to use a pen to take up the case of girls and women.”

Brian’s articles have boasted advocacy efforts to increase uptake of family planning services and promoted the health and rights of girls and women. The win was another milestone Brian registered for EDOU at a global level after, in 2015, being featured on the Women Deliver global list of “15 journalists, 15 voices for girls and women”, the same year he was named Commonwealth Young Achiever. “We celebrate you, Brian Mutebi,” the EDOU Team reacted to the announcement. “Congratulations upon this achievement. Thank you for devoting your life to improving the health and rights of girls and women.”