Vanessa Nwanguma (2010)

Lagos , NGA
Vanessa Nwanguma is Program Officer at the Center for the Right to Health's Legal Department in Lagos, Nigeria, where she also serves as a legal assistant. The Center for the Right to Health is a non-profit organization that advocates for the full realization of the right to health in Nigeria and promotes respect for ethics and human rights in healthcare policies and practices, especially for vulnerable groups. As the program coordinator, Vanessa advocates and defends the rights of sexual minorities, women and children whose rights are violated as a result of their health status. Vanessa is very active in providing legal counseling, mediation and litigation support to people living with HIV/AIDS. She was on the legal team that prepared and litigated a landmark HIV/AIDS discrimination case, in which a woman living with HIV/AIDS sued a hospital for denying her treatment due to her health status. After winning this case, Vanessa helped establish the Legal Action Committee Initiative (LACI), which coordinates training and support to lawyers in Nigeria who provide pro bono services to people living with HIV/AIDS and others whose rights have been violated in the health care system as a result of their health conditions. Vanessa has also researched patients' rights cases where privacy and confidentiality have been compromised. Vanessa received her barrister-at-law degree from the Nigerian Law School in Abuja, Nigeria. As a PILnet International Fellow, Vanessa developed a project to promote the right to reproductive health in Nigeria.