Rita Melifonwu is a stroke nurse turned social entrepreneur. She is the founder of Stroke Action, a Stroke Support Organization that is the outcome of her UK Department of Health’s Mary Seacole Nursing Leadership Award action research study: developing nurses’ role in evidence-based stroke care. Rita won the World Stroke Day Award in 2015, and, was last year named a Leading Social Entrepreneur by Ashoka Foundation because.
Through her work, she influences policy change in stroke care, and, is a member of the NCD Technical Working Group, Federal Ministry of Health Nigeria.
Her prime interests include stroke advocacy for policy change; grassroots stroke awareness and prevention; rehabilitation and psychosocial support after stroke. Her recent innovations include the development of unemployed stroke survivors of working age as Stroke Entrepreneurs.
Rita is a member of the Board of Directors of the WSO, and, engages with key stakeholders to advance stroke research capacity within Stroke Support Organizations: she is a member of OSCAIL (Organized Stroke Care Across Income Levels); WHO Stroke Development Group for a Package of Rehabilitation Interventions; African Stroke Organization (ASO); and, ISRRA (International Stroke Rehabilitation and Recovery Alliance).