Professor Yoko Shimpuku is a midwifery expert and academic actively engaged in research, human capital development, and policy-making both nationally and globally. She is conducting maternal child health research in Tanzania, with a focus on improving the quality of antenatal care and midwifery education in the region. One of her most significant achievements was the establishment of the first midwifery Masters programmes in Tanzania, and she now regularly visits to train and develop the country’s future leaders in midwifery. Her most recent accomplishment has been the development of an innovative educational smartphone App for midwives based on WHO guidelines. This has provided a great number of midwives with access to the accurate and practical information they need to save lives. In addition to her work educating advanced practice midwives and midwifery researchers in Japan, Professor Shimpuku has also been heavily involved in improving the research environment for young scientists in any academic disciplines, through her roles as an Executive Committee Member of the Global Young Academy and the Vice-Chair of the Young Academy Japan.
At a national level, Professor Shimpuku works with political leaders such as policymakers and ministers to ensure that young scientists’ voices are heard. At an international level, she has worked to support the establishment of similar academies worldwide. Through these activities and many more, Professor Shimpuku has had a highly positive impact on the global health ecosystem, with further prominent examples of this impact including reporting her work to Japan’s Prime Minister, providing a lecture to HRH Princess Akishino of Japan, her speech at the United Nations’ 5th International Day of Women and Girls in Science, and her work as a member of the Science Council of Japan’s Gender and Diversity and Gender Equal Participation Committees