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Stephanie Okereke Receives Lennox K. Black Prize for Excellence in Medicine


Nigeria’s Stephanie Okereke Linus, actress and filmmaker, has been honoured with the prestigious Lennox K. Black Prize for Excellence in Medicine from Thomas Jefferson University, becoming the first black person to receive this award.

This award celebrates individuals who have made important contributions to health and medicine. Okereke has dedicated her time and efforts to social activism and advocacy, particularly focusing on empowering and assisting women. She strongly opposes child marriage and tirelessly advocates for women’s rights and health.

Her commitment is evident in her film “Dry,” which raises awareness about Vesicovaginal fistula (VVF), a serious childbirth injury affecting girls and women in northern Nigeria. Through her foundation, Extended Hands, Okereke offers medical assistance to women suffering from VVF and campaigns for change.

She is widely recognised for her work addressing issues like fistula and gender-based violence, which has played a crucial role in driving social change through her films.

Upon receiving the award, Okereke expressed gratitude and renewed her dedication to using her platform for the betterment of society. She said,

This recognition is not just for me; it represents all the women and girls striving for a healthier, safer world. It amplifies our message and our efforts. It strengthens my determination to continue advocating for gender equality, social justice, and improved maternal and reproductive health in Africa.

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