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The Ona Mtoto Wako Initiative

seeing our babies, seeing our futures

Dr Chrystelle Wedi 

Dr. Kopano Matlwa Mabaso 

Bios of the founders

The Ona Mtoto Wako initiative is the brain child of Dr. Chrystelle Wedi & Dr. Kopano Matlwa Mabaso, both South African doctors with a passion for development on the African continent.

Dr Chrystelle Wedi

Dr. Chrystelle Opope Oyaka Wedi is a South African medical doctor of Congolese descent, currently undertaking a PhD (DPhil) in Obstetrics & Gynaecology at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. She has presented her work at scientific meetings in both the United Kingdom and South Africa, and has recently published her work in the internationally acclaimed Lancet HIV journal. Before undertaking her PhD, she completed both her Masters degree in medical immunology and her medical degree with distinction (cum laude).

In addition to her academic work, Chrystelle is extremely passionate about maternal and child health on the African continent. She is the Secretary general of Vandelo NGO, and co-managing partner of Watoto childrens hospital and Karibuni Watoto hospital; organisations based in the Democratic Republic of Congo, which for the past 10 years have provided quality healthcare to thousands of pregnant women and children from impoverished communities in Lubumbashi, DRC. She is an invited member of the Golden Keys Honour society and served as a World Economic Forum Global Shaper (2013-2015).


Dr Kopano Matlwa Mabaso

Dr. Kopano Matlwa Mabaso is a South African medical doctor & public health researcher currently undertaking a DPhil (PhD) in Population Health at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. Kopano’s research interests lie in health policy and systems research, particularly with regards to strengthening of health systems in reform. Kopano is an elected board member of Health Systems Global, the first international membership organisation fully dedicated to promoting health systems research and knowledge translation. In 2008 and 2009 Kopano was singled out as one of 300 young South Africans ‘you must take to lunch’ by the Mail & Guardian Newspaper. Kopano formed part of the founding group of World Economic Forum Global Shaper-Johannesburg Hub, was selected as a Young Physician Leader by the Interacademies Medial Panel in 2014, and is a 2015 Tutu Fellow & a 2015 Aspen New Voices Fellow. In addition to the above, Kopano is an award winning fiction author & founder of Transitions Foundation.