Wellbeing Foundation Africa 24-7-365 Advocacy Campaign in Action
On Friday the 20th of July 2012, Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and Chair of the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN), H.E Mrs. Toyin Saraki, led WRAN and other civil society organizations to the National Council on Health (NCH) to present a case for the adoption of the memo entitled “Memorandum of the Honourable Minister of Health on Improving Access to Family Planning Injectable Contraceptives at the Community Level as a Strategy for Reduction of Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Thereby Accelerating the Attainment of Millennium Development Goals 4, 5 & 6.
This memo, which was formally adopted on the 20th, was originally rejected by the NCH core technical committee on the 17th of July. As such, its adoption represents a critical response to the global call to action on family planning that the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria and Wellbeing Foundation Africa have long advocated for.
Speaking after her presentation, WRAN Chair and Founder of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs. Saraki, expressed her delight at the FMoH’s swift adoption of the partners’ (WBFA, WRAN and FHI) recommendation into Nigeria’s public health policy strategy implementation, stating, “We commend the council members for approving the Memo to enable CHEWs to provide injectable contraceptives in Nigeria; this is truly a manifestation of MDG 8 bringing the power of effective partnerships for the global health strategy on MNCH to the frontline enhancing continuum of care between women and their health care.”
As the most populous country in Africa, Nigeria is in a position to make a key difference in the global family planning effort. Having a high maternal mortality rate of 545 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, Nigeria has the opportunity to become a leader in demonstrating the impact of family planning in saving the lives of mothers and newborns. As evidenced by a recently released report by Lancet, if women had unrestricted access to family planning services and support, maternal mortality would decrease by an estimated 33%. From its inception, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has recognized the vital role family planning and universal access to contraceptives would play in minimizing maternal and infant mortality, and has been advocating for the availability of contraceptives at the grass roots level through the Wellbeing Foundation Africa 24-7-365 Advocacy campaign in addition to various commitments such as the commitment to increase advocacy focus on family planning and create synergies with the private sector to this effect made at the London Summit on Family Planning—an international conference co-hosted by the Gates Foundation and the UK's Department for International Development (DFID).
Currently, 20% of all women who desire contraceptives lack access to this effective maternal newborn and child health (MNCH) intervention, thus creating an unmet need which must be addressed. With President Goodluck Jonathan co-chairing the United Nations’ Commission on Lifesaving Commodities and the Nigerian government making a commitment to increase the prevalence of contraceptives from 15% to 38% by 2018 and increase family planning spending by 300%, Nigeria is making waves in the global family planning effort. Community based access to injectable contraceptives plays a major role in addressing the current unmet need, and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in partnership with the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria is advocating for the use of such contraceptives—which are a preferred method of family planning in rural northern Nigeria, to contribute to the achievement and facilitation of the government’s commitment. As Nigeria in collaboration with the international community increases its focus on family planning, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa continues to advocate for multi-sector MNCH solutions that will lead to an increased availability of modern family planning interventions such as community-based injectable contraceptives and remains committed to raising general awareness through the development of informative public health communications.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa
About The Wellbeing Foundation Africa
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) is a leading frontline African Maternal Newborn and Child Health (MNCH) and empowerment organization, dedicated to transforming the lives of women and children through advocacy and action. WBFA achieves this goal by forming strategic partnerships and engaging local and international stakeholders while providing practical support interventions and tools such as the WBFA IMNCH Personal Health Record©. Committed to health, education, women’s empowerment and social welfare, WBFA, founded by Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki in 2003, promotes MNCH through the UN’s Every Woman Every Child effort, diverse multi-sector initiatives, and advocacy campaigns including WBFA 24-7-365 and the Millennium Development Goals Countdown to 2015.
For more information, please visit www.wbfafrica.org
About White Ribbon Alliance
The White Ribbon Alliance (WRA) is an international movement consisting of diverse organisations and individuals working to make pregnancy and childbirth safe for all women and children. For the past decade, WRA’s rapidly growing network has been amplifying the voices of women and their communities. WRA has now become a leader among those holding governments and institutions to account for maternal mortality. In Nigeria, the Alliance consists of over 780 organisational and individual members across 29 states and the FCT. The White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN) is officially affiliated with the global White Ribbon Alliance consisting of thousands of members in over 105 countries. WRAN has developed a history of bringing together stakeholders from diverse sectors with the common purpose of decreasing maternal mortality that occurs during pregnancy and childbirth. Last year alone, WRAN conducted several programs including a panel discussion focused on government accountability and a rally which called for the recruitment, training and deployment of more health workers in Nigeria. In 2011, WRAN also produced a simplified version of the National Health Bill making the bill more comprehensible to the layman thereby empowering the Nigerian populace.
For more information, please visit www.whiteribbonalliance.org
About Family Health International
Family Health International (FHI) is a public health and development organization dedicated to improving living standards of the world's most vulnerable people. Family Health International has 2,500 staff conducting research and implementing programs in over 60 countries and all U.S. states and territories. Family Health International endeavors to advance public health initiatives and to improve local capacity to address development problems. Since 1971, Family Health International has been a global leader in family planning and reproductive health; after 1986, Family Health International became a leader in the worldwide response to HIV/AIDS. FHI's research and programs also address malaria, tuberculosis, and other infectious and chronic diseases and international agencies, governments, foundations, research institutions, and individual donors.
For more information, please visit www.fhi360.org