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Dr. Anna Banerji

She uses her medical expertise and a human rights framework to fight for vulnerable communities.

Dr. Anna Banerji is a pediatrician, an infectious, tropical disease specialist, a public health specialist, and a human rights advocate. As a physician, educator, and researcher, she uses a human rights framework to inform her advocacy, where her focus has been on refugee and Indigenous populations. 

Dr. Banerji is a pioneer in refugee health and is the Founder of the North American Refugee Health Conference (NARHC) in Canada, which has become the largest academic meeting on refugee health globally, and she is the Executive Director of the NARHC Inc. not-for-profit. She has been working with refugee children for most of her career and established the COSTI Pediatric Clinic where she screens refugee children coming to Toronto. In 2016, she assessed 700 Syrian children and currently assesses Afghan children. 

As a strong ally and advocate for Indigenous peoples, Dr. Banerji has been working with Indigenous communities for almost 30 years, travelling to numerous Indigenous communities across Canada in various capacities. In 2014, Dr. Banerji founded the Indigenous Health Conference, the largest academic event in Canada of its kind. Additionally, she has published landmark research on respiratory infections in Inuit babies, who have the highest rates of admissions for respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) globally but are not eligible for the RSV vaccine. Her petition on to raise awareness for RSV vaccine access has amassed almost a quarter of a million signatures, and another petition was successful in helping allocate an additional $305 million for Indigenous communities to fight COVID-19. 

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr. Banerji was a public health consultant for the COVID-19 task force for the Nishnawbe Aski Nation in Northern Ontario, and she also spent five weeks in remote Northern communities vaccinating First Nations Youth. Focusing on disadvantaged and under-served populations at the height of the pandemic, she was a trusted voice in the media appearing on CBC, BBC, CNN, and in the Washington Post.

Sought after for her expertise, she has given thousands of media interviews and invited lectures, and she also is an expert medical columnist for the CBC Syndication for radio stations across Canada. In 2019, Dr. Banerji was awarded the Dr. Peter Henderson Bryce Award for her advocacy work with Indigenous children. In 2022, she received the Ontario Pediatrician of the Year award and was inaugurated into the Order of Ontario in 2012.




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