Mrs Saraki Applauds American College Of Nurses And Midwives | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Mrs Saraki Applauds American College Of Nurses And Midwives

Posted: Jul 12, 2015 at 12:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Yinka Shokunbi Lagos

The alumni of the American College of Nurses and Midwives have been applauded for their innovative roles in midwifery and for being great game changers for mothers and their new-borns.

Mrs Saraki

Mrs Saraki

Global Goodwill Ambassador of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) and founder, Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs Toyin Saraki commended the alumni in a keynote address delivered at the 60th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the College held recently in Washington, US.

Saraki highlighted the contributions of midwives to maternal and child health in the post-2015 development era also, addressed the challenges facing midwives and birth attendants in the line of duty.

The Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the American College which serves as a platform for midwives and other health care experts to explore ways to enhance the quality of care provided, while expanding the reach of midwives into mainstream care has fulfilled the role for sixty decades.

In her address titled: ‘‘The Midwife as a Game Changer ‘ – Why Midwives Must be at the Heart of the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals, Mrs Saraki emphasized the critical importance of midwives in overcoming social determinants of maternal and child health – not just in Nigeria, but across the globe.

She noted that in Nigeria alone, 53,000 women lose their lives yearly from preventable causes relating to pregnancy and childbirth, while approximately 2,300 under-five year olds and 145 women of childbearing age die daily.

“This unfortunate statistics account for 13% of all global deaths of children aged under-five and 14% of global maternal deaths, placing Nigeria as the second largest contributor to maternal and child mortality rates worldwide.

“While the majority of maternal and child deaths occur in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, many deaths around the world could be easily prevented with better access to adequate health facilities and qualified health professionals – most especially midwives”, said Saraki..

Speaking on the key role midwives continue to play even as the international community transitions from the completion of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to the era of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Saraki stated: “The Wellbeing Foundation and I have long held the belief that midwives will be the game changer for accelerating progress on the MDGs and achieving sustainable change within the SDGs.

“We have placed midwives at the centre of our policies since we began our work over a decade ago. We did this because Nigeria has a long tradition of midwifery, with a vibrant, active community of dedicated midwives that have worked tirelessly to transform the health of their patients. We saw that Nigeria’s midwives had an unparalleled understanding of community health needs and community sensitivities, and we worked closely with them to develop our interventions.”

According to Saraki, some of the interventions developed by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa to address the challenges facing Nigerian midwives include increasing access to midwives in rural areas through supporting Maternity Referral Centres such as the one in Eruku, Kwara State; funding health services through the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund (AUHCF) – which funds the insurance premiums for 5000 Nigerians each year; and producing “Maternity Notes” to improve quality and safety of maternity care and replace the heterogeneity of locally developed maternity records. To further fulfil its objectives of improving maternal, new-born, and child health across the African continent, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa continues to empower women to take control of their maternal health through targeted community interventions and advocacy campaigns including the WBFA Personal Health Record, the WBFA Safe Delivery Kits, and advocacy work on midwives and newborns with its #MaternalMonday campaign – which facilitates a wider debate on how organisations can work together to combat maternal, newborn, and child mortality.