Vanessa became an AMR patient advocate in 2013 after surviving a serious car accident and 10-year facial reconstruction that caused a highly-resistant MRSA infection. She is a patient advisor to several organisations including CIDRAP (USA) and the WHO Strategic Technical Advisory Group on AMR (STAG-AMR), The Advisory Committee on Antimicrobial Prescribing, Resistance and Healthcare Associated Infection, UK (APRHAI) as well as a civil society champion at the Africa CDC.
She has won awards for her advocacy including a Woman of Stature (WOS) Woman of the Year Award, FINDdx Voices for Diagnostics Award, and Antibiotic Guardian Award in the Community Communications category organised by Public Health England.
She further was awarded an e-Patient Scholarship at Stanford University Medicine X in the USA.
With a professional background in marketing, Vanessa has also lectured on various topics including effective communication and infodemic management in relation to AMR, and completed training by the WHO in 2020.
She has also advocated the importance of patient and public involvement and engagement. Originally from South Africa, she now resides in the UK and has worked globally.
Vanessa also currently serves as Executive Director for The AMR Narrative.