Wanja Knighton, OBS Trustee

Trustee Wanja KnightonWanja Knighton, OBS Trustee

I became a trustee of OBS late last year, and what a year 2020 has been. I have the privilege of working with my fellow trustees who are very experienced as trustees and in their own professional fields, which makes any discussions very rich and informed from different perspectives.

I have lived half of my life in Kenya and the other half in Oxford, having spent 10 years working in administration and management at the University of Oxford. As a young mother, I was privileged to have tremendous family support when my child was born, this is what inspires me to give back. My professional life has allowed me to travel extensively and this has allowed me to have extensive contacts from different walks of life. It is these contacts that have been of assistance in my contribution as an OBS trustee.

I was heartbroken when I read that mothers who look like me are 5 times more likely to die in childbirth and that they lacked adequate support when it came to breastfeeding. I was absolutely shocked that it is 2020, and medical training still lacks representation of symptoms in darker skin tones.

If Rihanna can achieve racial diversity in foundation, we can achieve racial diversity in representing symptoms in all skin tones. This is why I am delighted to be part of a national collaborative group that is aiming to collect images of breastfeeding clinical conditions and how they manifest in different skin tones.

“It is the little things that citizens do that make a difference” said Nobel Prize winner Wangari Maathai. My little thing is collecting images to improve healthcare outcomes for women, what’s your little thing?

August 2020

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