Stephanie Linus Makes History As the First Black Recipient of the Lennox K. Black Prize in Medicine

Nollywood actress and filmmaker Stephanie Okereke Linus is no stranger to using her platform for social good. A leading voice against child marriage and women’s health advocate, her work extends beyond entertainment, making a real difference in the lives of women and girls.

Linus’ dedication to women’s health recently reached a new milestone – she became the first Black recipient of the prestigious Lennox K. Black International Prize for Excellence in Medicine by Thomas Jefferson University.

This award recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to the medical field, promoting advancements and social change. While the award typically honors medical professionals, Stephanie’s impactful work, particularly through her film “Dry,” which sheds light on the devastating childbirth injury VVF, resonated with the selection committee.

Linus’ activism extends far beyond film. Through her foundation, Extended Hands, she provides medical care to women suffering from VVF and advocates for change. Her tireless efforts earned her the Miriam Makeba Award for Excellence in 2017 and the Beyond the Tears Humanitarian Award for her work against rape and VVF. She further amplified her impact by serving as the regional ambassador for maternal and reproductive health for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) from2017 to 2020.

The Lennox K. Black award celebrates not just medical innovation but also contributions to global health and well-being. Stephanie Linus embodies this spirit perfectly. Her work in combating VVF, and advocating for gender-based violence awareness, transcends borders and has a real-world impact on women’s lives.

Linus, upon receiving the award, expressed her gratitude and unwavering commitment to using her platform for social good. “This recognition goes beyond me,” she stated. “It amplifies our message and our work. It strengthens my resolve to continue advocating for gender equality, social justice, and improved maternal and reproductive health in Africa.”

This prestigious award not only honors Stephanie Okereke Linus’ incredible work but also serves as a powerful symbol of the impact Black women can have on global health issues.

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