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Posts Tagged ‘MNCH’

Wellbeing Foundation Africa President Celebrates Women’s Achievements and Inspires Others at WIE Symposium London on International Women’s Day

Monday, March 12th, 2012

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In commemoration of the success and triumphs of women around the world on International Women’s Day, the Founder and President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki, articulated her vision for maternal newborn and child health (MNCH), and shared the Foundation’s goal of empowering the lives of 5.3 million women and children in Africa by 2015 at the Women: Inspiration and Enterprise (WIE) Symposium which took place at The Hospital Club in London on the 8th of March 2012.

With an atmosphere filled with solidarity, inspiration and achievement, the WIE Symposium, under the general theme ‘Owning Your Success,’ brought together a diverse array of motivated women who shared their stories and exemplified their dedication to collectively achieving social change. Speaking on the ‘Unstoppable Woman’ panel at the day-long conference, Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki, who also participated in last year’s WIE Symposium in New York, expressed her commitment to transforming the lives of women in Nigeria, Africa, and around the world through the Wellbeing Foundation Africa.

Describing an unstoppable woman as “a woman who, despite all the challenges, is utterly committed to achieving her vision to transform lives wherever she is,” Mrs. Saraki’s unstoppable moment which led to the creation of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in 2003 stemmed from tragedy.“When I lost one of my twin children during child birth, I soon realised that no matter who you are, what you have, you are at the mercy of the health system,” Her Excellency candidly stated. This heart-breaking incident then prompted the realization that the intrinsic flaws in the Nigerian healthcare system could only be addressed through practical action from all sectors—the public sector, the organised private sector, and civil society.

“My vision is to ensure that every woman and every child in Africa has their own personal individual health record and my intention is not to stop until that is so, for when you empower a woman you empower a nation; an empowered woman is a health-seeking woman, for herself, her children, her family and her community” Mrs. Toyin Saraki declared. To this end, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa is committed to saving the lives of 5.3 million women and children across Africa through the distribution of the WBFA IMNCH Personal Health Records© which empower women with a documented record of their medical conditions, every stage in their pregnancy, and the life of their child for the first 5 years; thus giving them prompt access to the right care from properly informed health professionals. “With the Personal Health Record©, we have put a tangible Millennium Development Goal attainment tool in the hands of women, children and health service providers,”Mrs. Saraki stated.

The annual WIE symposium brings together prominent leaders from the worlds of politics, business, fashion, philanthropy, media, entertainment and the arts, in a full day of lively panels, workshops, master-classes and an inspirational awards ceremony. Also speaking at the London event was Brigid McConville, Global Director of the White Ribbon Alliance—an international coalition of individuals and organizationsadvocating for the availability of life-saving healthcare that will prevent needless deaths that occur during childbirth daily. As a member of the ‘Dreams for My Daughter’ panel, the WRA Director alongside other advocates put maternal and infant mortality into perspective. “If the mother dies in a family, the whole social network falls apart…Women have been silent for too long,” said actress Diana Quick.

The White Ribbon Alliance’s ‘Dreams for My Daughter’ campaign, which was simultaneously celebrated on the 8th of March in an exhibition by renowned photographer Joanna Vestey at the Women of the World festival at the UK’s famous Southbank Centre, aims to give all daughters hope for a brighter future and shatter the vicious cycle of low education, poverty and child marriage in developing countries. Sharing her own dream for her daughter, McConville conveyed that she dreams her daughter will see deaths during childbirth and pregnancy as a thing of the past.

Having been elected chair of the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria Board of Directors on the 23rd of February 2012, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder- President Her Excellency Mrs.ToyinSaraki, the leading African Advocate for women’s health and empowerment through the Every Woman Every Child Effort of the United Nations Secretary General, also shares the dream of eradicating maternal and infant mortality. Having raised the national alarm on maternal mortality in Nigeria in 2004, she has worked tirelessly ever since to find practical multi-sector solutions and is actively creating strategic partnerships to ensure the attainment of UN Millennium Development Goals 3, 4, and 5 in commitment to MNCH. Forging beneficial multi-sector collaborative platforms under Mrs.Saraki’s leadership, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, a key African Philanthropic Organisation,continues to advocate for Africa-focused and Africa-driven life-saving universal access to quality public healthcare for pregnant women and children across the African continent.

Signed: Lore Dada
Communications, The Wellbeing Foundation Africa

Innovative Solutions for Reducing Maternal Mortality – Nigeria

Saturday, November 13th, 2010

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Imagine the scenario: Sharifah[i] got pregnant and in accordance with the advice from her mother and other women in the village, she went to the local ‘midwife’, the lady who has looked after and delivered all the women in the community. Of course, Sharifah knew there might be problems, she knew of women who had lost their lives or their babies, but she was hopeful…she was young, strong and in love. She did everything the ‘midwife’ told her and she made sure she did not overeat, so her baby would not be too big to deliver. When she was full term and the contractions changed from the passing discomfort to purposeful strong contractions with shortening time intervals, Sharifah moved into the ‘midwife’s’ back room. She labored through the night, into the next day and night. She got exhausted, there was no progress being made. Sharifah’s husband was very worried and finally took a decision to take her to the comprehensive clinic in the next town.

Sharifah arrived at the comprehensive clinic, exhausted, moribund and in obvious distress. The receiving nurse took a history – it was painfully short of details. What was her state of health when she got pregnant? Did anyone know her blood pressure at the time of booking for antenatal care? Had she had any immunizations? Bleeding episodes? Swelling of the feet? Headaches? Fever? Did anyone know anything about her past medical history? Typically, no. Sharifah was the quintessential ‘unbooked case’. Her blood pressure on arrival at the clinic was 130/85; but that was no indication of whether it was high or normal since it could not be compared with her regular BP (which in her case was usually 90/60!). The doctors and nurses battled through the night, with Sharifah and other cases that kept pouring in… patients that the clinic staff clearly prioritized because they were booked.

The outcome? It could all have been so different…if Sharifah had been given a home-based Personal Health Record© [PHR©]. The PHR© is issued to the pregnant mother when she presents for her first visit at the antenatal clinic, it tracks the progress of the pregnancy, delivery, immediate post-natal period and then monitors the growth and development of the child until his/her fifth birthday. As it happened in Sharifah’s case, very often mothers-to-be get antenatal care at a place near their homes, with a person of variable training, but with whom the pregnant mother is very comfortable and in whom she has complete trust. When the delivery becomes complicated, they are then rushed to larger facilities where they are treated as ‘unbooked’ cases. The healthcare workers have little or no prior knowledge of their health status, the mothers, being largely health-illiterate, are unable to offer much accurate credible information and at the end of the day, it becomes a very frustrating time and more likely to produce a poor outcome. They are also more likely to suffer from abusive behaviour during the delivery process. The main purpose of the PHR© is that the holder has his/her medical records to hand at the point of service.

In many LMICs[ii], there is very often poor logistics for handling case notes as well as all the details of lab results, consultation notes, prescriptions, in-patient and out-patient records, ensuring that all the information gets filed in the right case-notes at the right time and can be quickly and easily retrieved when needed. All too often patients get to the facility and their case-notes are misfiled or simply in the wrong place, leaving the poor harassed HCW[iii] with little or no past medical history to review. The Nigerian Integrated MNCH Personal Health Record [PHR©] was developed by the Wellbeing Foundation in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health, the Perinatal Institute UK, WHO, relevant agencies and stakeholders to meet the peculiar needs of the country. The PHR© uses pictorial illustrations, have WHO-approved growth charts and use optical character recognition [OCR] for electronic capture of data which is available to health and authorized agencies to collate data. In the case of multiple births, a second (and third) book is simply issued at birth. The book is A5 in size, uses a file format and has a plastic cover. Of course, it is coloured green to denote national ownership and has been nicknamed the “Nigerian health passport”. Though still in the initial roll-out stage, it has so far had a positive response especially among the HCWs who have all the needed information to hand immediately the patient presents.

There are similar concepts in Malaysia, Japan and even the UK ‘red book’. The presence of WHO health information pages at the back of the book assist in teaching mothers easily used home management therapies for common endemic health problems such as infantile diarrhea, malaria and how to prevent infection with HIV/AIDS. The PHR© also permits the dissemination of important health information regarding home and community management of common conditions. For countries that face technological challenges, this simple tool that is not immediately dependant on electrical power (which makes mobile health apps a little less efficient in our present circumstances) but can still be electronically captured for data management offers a way out.

[i] Not her real name
[ii] Low and Middle Income Countries
[iii] Health Care Worker(s)

by
Dr Alero Ann Roberts BSc, MBBS, MPH FMCPH

Maternal and Child Survival: Toyin Saraki Writes to Sarah Brown

Friday, November 12th, 2010

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The National Champion for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health for the White Ribbon Alliance For Safe Motherhood(WRA) Her Excellency, Mrs Toyin Saraki of Kwara State has vowed that the One Voice Campaign, a coalition of stakeholders dedicated to the fight against maternal, newborn and child mortality will work with Sarah Brown, the wife of former British Prime Minister to achieve the  Millennium Development Goals 4 and 5.

In a recent letter to Mrs  Brown, who is Global Patron for WRA, Mrs Saraki noted that the battle against the scourge of maternal and child mortality in Nigeria has made tremendous progress since she initiated and led an advocacy visit to the Federal Ministry of Health in 2005. She explained that at that meeting, she stressed that the issue of Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health should be at the forefront of Nigeria’s home affairs.  She noted  that the fact that  Nigeria is making progressive steps towards tackling maternal, newborn and child mortality can also be said to account for the recent appointment of  the immediate-past Health Minister, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin as Spokesman for Maternal Health in Africa by the Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health(PMNCH).

Mrs Saraki,  pointed out that her conviction for  the need for broader participation in the  battle against maternal, newborn and child mortality encouraged  her to  facilitate the recent meeting between the Nigerian First Lady, Her Excellency Dame Patience Jonathan and the White Ribbon Alliance with the hope that the meeting and the expected investiture of the First Lady as National Matron of the White Ribbon Alliance will provide a timely fillip to the continuum of the goals defined at the 2009 High Level Maternal Health Task Force meeting at 10 Downing Street hosted  in 2009.

She said that as part of the steps tackle the scourge, the One Voice Nigeria Health Campaign was inaugurated on May 18th 2010 as a cross sectoral campaign unifying all stakeholders under one umbrella as a national task force, culminating in the formulation and delivery of the Abuja Declaration on MNCH to the leaders of the African Union and subsequently, the Heads of Government of the G8 Nations on Nigeria’s behalf.

The National Championed explained that the One Voice Campaign is tasked with   consolidating the national advocacy effort following the solicitation of personal support of the First Lady by replicating this advocacy programme with the wives of the 36 State Governors through encouraging the establishment of WRAN State Chapters.

In a personal letter to Mrs Saraki recently, Mrs Brown noted that: “Her Excellency Mrs Saraki has shown true commitment towards Nigeria’s fight against maternal, newborn and child mortality. These issues must be put at the forefront of each country’s national agenda”.

Nigeria: Foundation Partners With FG

Friday, November 12th, 2010

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A non-governmental organisation, The Well-being Foundation, will together with Office of the First Lady of Kwara State, host officials of the Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders across different states in the country, at a three-day meeting of the Nigerian Integrated Maternal and Child Health Records in Ilorin, Kwara State, between today and September 21, 2007.

In a statement by a spokesman of the organisation, Mr Niran Adedokun, the Well-being Foundation has been working with the Federal Ministry of Health since last year, on ways of reducing maternal and child mortality ratio in Nigeria, in line with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals Four and Five. According to him, this collaboration with the Family Health Division of the Federal Ministry of Health eventually culminated in the recently launched Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Strategy, specifically targeted at reducing the country’s high rate of maternal mortality. “We are all in agreement that there needs to be an integrated approach to the delivery of healthcare in our country through effective means, hence the introduction of home-based records for the effective monitoring of health indices covering all the geographical zones.” It is expected that at the end of the conference, all existing data collection tools for maternal, newborn and child health including the Nigerian Integrated Maternal and Child Health Record would be harmonised for the greatest impact across Nigeria . “It is our belief that if Nigeria is not to be left behind in the attainment of the significant reduction of maternal mortality and child mortality by 2015, government policy backed by effective action by all stakeholders must be our goal.”

Also expected at the harmonisation meeting are the Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Adenike Grange, the Wife of the Kwara State Governor and President of the WellBeing Foundation, Mrs Toyin Saraki and representatives of donor agencies and international development agencies

http://allafrica.com/stories/200709170661.html

Alaafia Encourages Women to Screen for Cancer

Friday, November 12th, 2010

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A statement issued by the Liaison Director of the Foundation, Mr. Niran Adedokun, said that membership of “The Partnership”, as it is called, requires a “commitment to Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, in accordance with The Partnership’s guiding principles and conceptual framework, and that the WellBeing Foundation has satisfied all the criteria, conditions and responsibilities required to become a member of The Partnership.” (The Partnership has a broad membership that includes country partners, international agencies, donors, non-governmental organizations, professional associations and research and academic institutions.)

The statement from the foundation also said that on her part, the President and Founder of the Foundation, the First Lady of Kwara State, Mrs Toyin Saraki, has expressed great satisfaction on the recognition of the foundation’s work in the area of maternal health and child survival and the acceptance of WBF as a member of the partnership. She also restated her determination to remain at the forefront of maternal and child health issues in Nigeria, while giving her full support to the Federal Government’s Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health strategy.

The Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH) was launched in September 2005 when the world’s three leading maternal, newborn and child health alliances joined forces under the new name of The Partnership for Maternal, Newborn & Child Health. These organizations were: the Partnership for Safe Motherhood and Newborn Health, hosted by the World Health Organization in Geneva; the Healthy Newborn Partnership, based at Save the Children USA; and the Child Survival Partnership, hosted by UNICEF in New York.

Sources: http://www.who.int/pmnch/en/ Vanguard News Nigeria