PATH today announced the selection of Adepeju Jaiyeoba–a young, Nigerian-trained lawyer, entrepreneur, and maternal and child health advocate–to serve as an honorary Innovation Champion. In this role, Jaiyeoba will work in partnership with PATH's Advocacy and Public Policy team to raise awareness of the health challenges facing women and children in low- and middle-income countries and how to accelerate development and access to lifesaving health technologies.
Jaiyeoba was selected for this distinction because of her passion and dedication to advancing innovative solutions to providing health tools and services to women in Nigeria. In 2011, following the death of a close friend during childbirth, Jaiyeoba founded the Brown Button Foundation to train birth attendants and increase access to health services in rural Nigerian communities. To further combat birth complications, in 2013, she established Mother's Delivery Kit, a social enterprise venture that connects women in rural communities with affordable, sterile supplies needed at childbirth. Since its founding, the company has provided over 50,000 safe delivery kits, trained over 2,000 birth attendants, and connected rural communities with lifesaving information and quality health care personnel.
Jaiyeoba has received numerous accolades for her work. In 2014 she was selected as a Mandela Washington Fellow by the US Department of State's Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), is part of the YALI network, and in 2015 was recognized by President Barack Obama as a White House Emerging Global Entrepreneur. Jaiyeoba is also a Fellow of the Unreasonable Institute, Member of Women in Successful Careers, and has been honored as a 2015 Young Innovator by the World Innovation Summit for Health. In addition, she leads Africa's top 10 female entrepreneurs for Diaspora Demo day, YNaija's 2015 top 10 most influential Nigerians under 40 (Advocacy), and is acknowledged as a Global Change Leader by the Coady International Institute in Canada.
A lawyer by trade, Jaiyeoba is a graduate of Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife and Nigerian Law School, Abuja. Through the Mandela fellowship, she received additional education in business and entrepreneurship at the University of Texas at Austin, and completed a staff internship with the United Nations Foundation in Washington, DC.
The Innovation Champion program was established by PATH earlier this year to amplify the voice of a young woman from a low- or middle-income country who is a health innovator or beneficiary of health innovation. The role will include advocacy training, networking and speaking opportunities, and other support to help her become a leading example of and champion for health innovation in her community and around the world.