Kenya’s Umra Omar was on December 11th,2016, honored at CNN Heroes Night among 9 other heroes. The CNN Heroes night honors everyday people that have dedicated their lives to change the world.
The 33 year old mother of one, with another baby on the way, left her job in the United States to provide health services to residents of the remote area of islands near the Kenyan-Somali border, the Lamu Archipelago; where aid groups have stopped working and infrastructures are crumbling.
She and her group, Safari Doctors, travel by boat, road and air to bring medical care to people living along the insecure region.
“There is a lot of caution of, ‘Why are you going here? You’re not supposed to,’ ” said Omar, 33. “And as a woman running around pushing this project, it’s like, ‘Why do that? Why not just stay home, get taken care of.’ “
Together with her group, Safari Doctors, Umra provides free basic medical services – including immunizations, maternal health care and treatment for malaria and other common diseases in the region – to more than 1,000 people a year.
They travel by boat, road and air to bring medical care to people living along the insecure region ravaged with threats by Islamist terror group Al-Shabaab which has had others relocate from the area for good. She says about her strenuous work considering her pregnancy.
“So I’m pregnant, but not yet barefoot! And that’s supposed to be happening in November. But it’s something that I feel like wouldn’t necessarily put the brakes on anything in any way whatsoever. I think this is a Safari Doctors baby!Being here, being close to home, to be able to fill some of the gaps in accessing health care, it’s kind of been an IV drip for life and purpose”
She together with the 9 other heroes will receive a cash prize of $10,000 with an additional $100,000 being awarded to the CNN Hero of the Year.
Congratulations Umra Omar and the Safari Doctors on your efforts!
Check out the Safari Doctors website and see how to help.