Stella Iwuagwu

Ashoka Fellow
Nigeria,
Fellow Since 2002
Centre for the Right to Health

Citation

This profile was prepared when Stella Iwuagwu was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2002.
The New Idea
For Stella, AIDS has brought to light the inadequacies in Nigeria's health, social welfare, and judicial systems–all of which she sees as grossly inadequate to meet the challenges of the epidemic. So far, responses to the disease have focused mostly on awareness and education; few address care, and none approach care as a fundamental right. Stella's approach tackles the root causes of stigma and discrimination and their consequences, especially within the healthcare system. Stella both trains people with HIV/AIDS to defend their own rights and, through advocacy and capacity building, prepares the institutions needed to help in the enforcement of citizens' rights to adequately meet this challenge. She educates the judiciary, so it will respond when people with HIV/AIDS come to court to insist on their rights; the legislature, so it will pass enabling laws; and healthcare providers, so they will maintain confidentiality and provide adequate care. Stella has also been instrumental in helping people with HIV/AIDS create the Nigerian AIDS Alliance, thereby giving them a voice nationally and internationally. Hence, her approach is now recognized at these levels.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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