Dr Tapela is a Motswana physician, public health researcher and global health advocate passionate about reducing premature and avoidable deaths of those most vulnerable in the African region. She currently is a Senior Research Fellow at University of Oxford’s Nuffield Department of Population Health, focusing her work on understanding the burden of Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) in sub-Saharan Africa, and developing innovative equitable solutions for delivering healthcare services, including for African women with cancer living in rural areas. Her research is informed by multi-disciplinary, hands-on experience in the public, non-profit, and academic sectors.
She has served as special advisor on NCDs to the Rwanda Ministry of Health, as Director of NCDs Program with Partners In Health coordinating implementation of Butaro Cancer Center of Excellence, and as Head of the National NCDs Program in her home country, Botswana. Dr Tapela trained at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, and maintains appointments as Associate Physician at Brigham and Women's Hospital (Boston, USA) and Research Associate at Botswana Harvard Partnership (Gaborone, Botswana). Her work as a global health innovator has been recognized in her selection as Aspen New Voices Fellow and an African Cancer Leaders Institute Awardee.