In recognition of the incredible work done by health partnerships involving Irish institutions and their counterparts in low- and middle-income countries, we have created the Unsung Hero Award. This award will shine a light on individuals who have worked hard to show consistent and unshakeable commitment to the health partnership they are involved in. This is the third year of the award.

Please nominate an outstanding individual involved in a health partnership who:

  • Has made an important contribution to the success of the health partnership
  • Is integral to the partnership (either behind the scenes or as a leader)
  • Has demonstrated an exceptional commitment toward the goals of the partnership
  • Embodies the principles of partnership —  reciprocity, mutual respect, learning sustainable change (please see ESTHER Charter for Quality of Partnerships)

Please nominate either one or two persons from your health partnership who meet the above criteria; one nominee from the Irish institution and/or one nominee from the counterpart institution involved in your health partnership.

To nominate Unsung Heroes from your health partnership, please fill in the form here by September 20th, 2021.

A panel of judges will review the nominees , and they will select two winners, a winner from an Irish institution and a winner from a counterpart institution. The winners will be announced at the 6th Annual ESTHER Ireland Partnership Forum which will take place online on September 28th (3pm-5pm) and will receive a certificate and a plaque of recognition.

Previous Years’ Winners

Unsung Hero 2020

Dr. Elenia Macamo Amado​, Consultant Obstetrician, Maputo Central Hospital, Mozambique
Health Service Executive – Mozambique Ministry of Health Partnership

Dr. Elenia Macamo Amadon was the Assistant Director for Medical Services at the Mozambique Ministry of Health from 2015 to 2020. In this role she had responsibility for the country’s hospital services. Following her appointment in 2015, she identified poor quality of care as a priority issue for hospital services in Mozambique. She decided to address this issue through the collaboration with the HSE. Her leadership has been the single most important factor in the success of the partnership. The work that Dr. Elenia undertook is a story of untiring dedication, commitment and skilled leadership. The work of Dr. Elenia has been the most critical factor in making the partnership succeed.

Unsung Hero 2020

Dr. Sami Ahmed​, Retired Consultant Paediatrician​
Cork University – Maternity Hospital-Omdurman  Maternity Hospital Partnership

Dr. Sami Ahmed has been involved in the Cork and Omdurman Maternity Hospital Partnership, the Cork University (UCC), and Ministry of Health – Neonatal resuscitation program (NRP) and the Cork University Maternity Hospital (CUMH), AAP (American association of pediatrics) and HBB (Help babies breathe) programs. Dr. Sami was deeply and passionately involved in these multidisciplinary partnerships that involved collaboration, mutual respect and many shared objectives between Ireland and Sudan. Dr. Sami has never faltered to achieve commitment, dedication, leadership respect and honesty throughout his career and with ESTHER, he has given a special part of his life and dedicated commitment to the cause.

Unsung Hero 2019

Dermot O’Flynn, Director of Professional Development and Corporate Training, RCSI Institute of Leadership
Royal College of Surgeons Ireland-College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa

Since 2010, Mr. O’Flynn has to worked tirelessly to help a growing number of specialist surgeons across East, Central and Southern Africa to develop their skills as surgical trainers. This work was undertaken as part of the Irish Aid supported collaboration program between the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) and the College of Surgeons of East, Central and Southern Africa (COSECSA). By equipping surgeons with the skills to train others, he has helped COSECSA to have an exponential impact on the surgical workforce in this region. To date, working with colleagues in COSECSA, RCSI and other institutions, Mr. O’Flynn has run 20 courses in 10 countries, from Ethiopia to Zimbabwe, directly training 212 surgeons as “COSECSA Accredited Trainers.” He has shown tremendous commitment to the task of helping surgeons develop their teaching and training capacity, and has always gone the extra mile for the project.