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Dorabjee Award recipient empowers change and honours a legacy

  • 02 May 2024
Kouadio Dié N'dri Sandrine holding a microphone
Kouadio Dié N'dri Sandrine.

Burnet Institute has announced the recipient of the inaugural Dorabjee Award International — Kouadio Dié N'dri Sandrine.

Established in honour of the late Jimmy Dorabjee, a trailblazer in international harm reduction policy and practice, particularly in Asia, this award serves as a tribute to his enduring legacy.

The award supports individuals with lived or living experience who are working in the harm reduction field to attend a conference on drug use and related harms of their choice.

Ms Kouadio's journey exemplifies the spirit of the Dorabjee Award. As the founder of the Association Paroles Autour de la Santé in Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa, she has dedicated herself to offering support and encouragement to people who use drugs.

Her work aims to facilitate recovery and empower individuals to regain control of their lives.

“My personal journey has been filled with challenges and hardship linked to my own experience with drugs,” she said.

“For 15 years, I navigated the world of addiction, facing imprisonment, stigma, violence, and extreme vulnerability. These experiences have given me a unique perspective on the challenges faced by people who use drugs, particularly in Africa.

“At the heart of these difficulties, was a deep motivation to use my own experiences to help others.”

The Association Paroles Autour de la Santé was borne out of Ms Kouadio's desire to transform the pain she experienced into a source of hope for others by promoting the rights of people who use drugs.

“My goal is to create an environment where people who use drugs are treated with dignity and respect, and where they have access to the resources and services they need to recover and rebuild their lives,” she said

“This scholarship represents a validation of my commitment to reducing the risks associated with drug use and offers me an opportunity to expand its impact.

“By receiving this award, I am continuing the legacy of an iconic figure like Jimmy Dorabjee.”

Burnet program director of disease elimination Professor Paul Dietze said Ms Kouadio was an outstanding applicant.

“Ms Kouadio has demonstrated an exceptional commitment to improving the lives of women who use drugs through harm reduction policy and practice,” he said.

“She will be an excellent ambassador for her organisation and her country.”

Read more about Jimmy Dorabjee and the award here: 

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