Adaeze Oreh

Health | Nigeria

2019 New Voices Fellow


As a young medical doctor and new mother, Adaeze’s world was turned upside down when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a type of blood cancer, in 2005. The experience was fraught, not only because of the medical risks but because of the financial burdens of treatment. Adaeze emerged cancer-free, but with a new dedication to both blood safety and, ultimately, universal health care. “I have time and time again seen patients and their families literally break down under the weight of a diagnosis. Not necessarily because of the illness in itself, but often because they saw the health care bills as a death sentence,” she says. Currently Adaeze serves as a senior medical offer with Nigerian Health Ministry attached to the National Blood Transfusion Service. She says her main focus now is to advocate for more healthcare spending – and more healthcare decision-making – at the local level.