2007 Distinguished Alumni Award Honoree
Born on the UW-Madison campus and raised in Tanzania and Kenya, Ernest Darkoh has put the knowledge he’s gained while earning his undergraduate UW degree, his Harvard Medical School degree, and his University of Oxford business administration degree to use by helping to address Africa’s major health care problems. In fact, he has dedicated his life to creating an entirely new model for AIDS treatment.
Dr. Darkoh is an internationally recognized expert in HIV/AIDS program management, strategic planning, systems development, and large-scale treatment program implementation. In 2004, he oversaw Masa (a Setswana word meaning “new dawn”), Africa’s first AIDS treatment program that involved offering free antiretroviral drugs to all Botswana citizens who require treatment.
Today, Ernest Darkoh is co-founder and chairman of BroadReach Healthcare based in Washington, D.C. BroadReach has made it possible for 10 percent of the HIV-infected population of Botswana to have access to free medications. In addition, an untold number of HIV-negative people remain uninfected due to his efforts. He advises numerous governments across Africa, Asia and the Caribbean in the development of public and private sector HIV/AIDS programs. His expertise is frequently sought after by international organizations, including the World Bank and UNICEF.
In 2005, Time Magazine named Dr. Darkoh one of just 18 Global Health Heroes around the world, and that same year he was highlighted in a PBS documentary titled Rx for Survival. Twelve other countries are now using Botswana’s model for AIDS treatment.