Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah made CBE in New Year Honours 2023

Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah has been made CBE in the New Year Honours list for services to public health.

Rosamund has been campaigning to introduce the Clean Air (Human Rights) Bill – or ‘Ella’s law’, named after her daughter. Ella became the first person to have air pollution listed as the cause of death at an inquest. Rosamund is a World Health Organization advocate for health and air quality and founder of the Ella Roberta Family Foundation, based in London. A former teacher, Rosamund became a clean air advocate after her 9-year-old daughter, Ella, died in 2013 from a rare and severe form of asthma exacerbated by air pollution.

MPs are currently reviewing the Clean Air Bill in the House of Commons after being passed by the House of Lords.

Rosamund commented that the CBE was an absolute honour and recognition for her campaign.

She added: ‘My daughter, who died in 2013, would be over the moon. She would be overjoyed. Although I got the inquest victory, she would be really, really proud that I just didn’t give up.’

Extreme pollution levels

After Ella’s inquest in 2020, coroner Philip Barlow reported she had been exposed to extreme pollution levels before her death in February 2013.

The inquest found that she had numerous seizures in the three years before her death and was admitted to the hospital 27 times.

‘When I went to the cemetery on Christmas Day because we had to go and sort out Ella’s grave, I was like, ‘Ah, your mum got a CBE, and you’re not here to see it.’

Rosamund continues to push for more significant air pollution action and wrote to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. She is also asking for people and organisations to send letters to the PM to help Ella’s Law pass in the House of Commons.

‘I mentioned the fact that until the air is clean, this whole thing with the NHS is going to continue because prevention is better than cure,’ she commented.