We’re committed to maternal, newborn deaths reduction – WBFA Country Director
Could you please tell us a bit about the Wellbeing Foundation Africa?
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is an NGO founded over 12 years ago by Her Excellency, Mrs Toyin Saraki. Our main areas of work are the entire reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) continuum of care as well as ending gender-based violence, discrimination and abuse. We are also involved in philanthropy, education, and the socio-economic empowerment of women and families. Our work is mainly through advocacy but we also do important work in terms of project implementation. We are working on training midwives and other healthcare workers to better deliver healthcare for our mothers and children. We also give out pregnancy school education for antenatal and postnatal care; this is our MamaCare project, and it has had a massive impact in Abuja, Lagos and Kwara States. We are also involved in the social impact sector through client-held personal records and Clean Delivery kits a.k.a Mamakits. That is what we do in a nutshell.
How do you carry out your mandate of reducing child and maternal mortality in the country?
We are members of the United Nations’ Every Woman Every Child (EWEC) initiative, and we were one of the first in the world to launch a national EWEC platform in the era of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). EWEC is an initiative of the United Nations’ Secretary-General to reduce maternal and child mortality and morbidity, and we have been pioneer members of that community – and active participants for that matter. We do advocacy for improving maternal and child health not just in Nigeria, and sub-Saharan Africa but around the world. We have also been involved in projects that directly have been shown to reduce maternal and newborn mortality.
Like you may already know, we have a project with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) being funded by Johnson and Johnson, to improve the availability and quality of maternal and new born care in Kwara State and north-central Nigeria. This is a project that trains midwives and other healthcare workers including obstetricians and gynecologists and community health workers on how to better manage women who are pregnant or women who have just had a baby. And it has been shown that during the first phase of our project, in the initial 18 months period, there was no maternal or newborn death, not one! Across nine healthcare facilities in three local government areas (LGAs), there was not a single death or complication. So that shows to the world, not just to us, that success is possible if we put in the right resources and the right efforts. This was very impressive because the donors decided to give us more funding to carry on this project till 2018, thereby expanding our work to more Local Government Areas (LGAs). Also, we are involved in project called the MamaCarePregnancy Schools, that goes into facilities with our midwives and we talk to pregnant women as well as new mothers on how to manage their pre-delivery and post-delivery. We have shown that people who come for our classes have good deliveries. We have also revolutionized interactive social media, through the innovative #MaternalMonday that takes maternal health discussions to the mainstream, every Monday. So, these are the things we are doing.
Please tell us about your partnership with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) is one of the first schools of tropical medicine in the world which has been at the forefront of fighting malaria and other tropical diseases for over a century. They have a project that they do around the world, which is improving the quality, access and the availability of maternal and newborn healthcare; we also call it the emergency obstetrics and newborn care (EmONC) program. The Johnson and Johnson Corporate Citizenship Trust is funding this project in Kwara, starting initially with three Local Government Areas (LGAs), now extending four LGAs, till 2018. We work in the areas of School of Midwifery; we train healthcare workers, and we train fully licensed midwives, as well as pre-service student-midwives. We also left skills labs behind which have designated rooms for the safe keeping of materials used by midwives and other health workers to train other sets of healthcare workers in a “training of the trainers” model. It was just getting the right people in a room together and getting the training sessions done and ensuring that some standards were kept and mannequins were provided and then facilitators train other trainers, and then the training continues because the skills lab are there. In a few days from now, I will be in Kwara to be part of the monitoring and evaluation (M & E) for the first cycle for the LGA’s in the second grant phase. We are seeing progress; the women are happy; the midwives are happy; the heads of the hospitals and health care facilities are excited, and they are grateful for the work, as well as to Johnson and Johnson, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
Read more at http://nationalmirroronline.net/new/were-committed-to-maternal-newborn-d...