Medela Cares, Medela's Corporate Social Responsibility Program Partners with The Wellbeing Foundation Africa to Fight Infant Mortality and Improve Breastfeeding Rates in Nigeria
Medela Cares, Medela's corporate social responsibility program to help combat malnutrition and low breastfeeding rates in Nigeria by focusing on lactation care offered to mothers of NICU infants
Baar, Switzerland, 4 August 2020 – In recognition of World Breastfeeding Week, Medela, the #1 breast pump brand most recommended by doctor and used in hospitals*, announced its new partnership with The Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) to improve breastfeeding support and resources in in Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) in Nigeria.
As part of this partnership, Medela and The Wellbeing Foundation Africa will work together to improve the support offered to new mothers in Nigeria by delivering NICU-specific education and training on the value of human milk and how to build sufficient milk supply for long-term breastfeeding. This work will involve frontline healthcare workers, nonprofit organizations and government agencies.
“Medela's long history as a global player in breastfeeding research, products, technology and innovation is the perfect partner for Wellbeing Foundation Africa in our quest to improve Nigeria's prevalence of breastfeeding and our focus on NICU support," said Her Excellency Toyin Ojora Saraki, founder and president of Wellbeing Foundation Africa. “Ensuring new mothers are wholly supported to breastfeed is not only critical for the health and wellbeing of the baby: it can be linked to all 17 of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.”
Nigeria ranks 6th highest in the world for infant mortality and complications due to prematurity is the leading cause of death2. In children younger than 5 years, 47% of deaths occur in the first 28 days of life, many of them are preventable and can be addressed through improved nutrition with mother’s milk3. Today Nigeria has one of the lowest breastfeeding rates in the world with only 17% of mothers exclusively breastfeeding their children through 6 months4. To improve these statistics, the United Nations set a global goal to improve breastfeeding rates to 50% by the year 20305. Medela hopes to contribute to the solution through this partnership with the WBFA.
As a supporting member of the Global UN Compact and the UN's Every Women, Every Child initiative, Medela is committed to partnering with organizations to improve breastfeeding rates globally to meet the 2030 Breastfeeding goals. Medela’s new global corporate social responsibility program, Medela Cares, is dedicated to improving the lives of moms, babies and patients through education and support, as well as through technologies, research and services.
“Research shows us that breast milk is critical for growth and overall health for newborns and is a low-cost and highly effective intervention that can prevent infant death,” said Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela worldwide. “We are thrilled to partner with The Wellbeing Foundation Africa as part of our commitment to the UN’s Every Woman, Every Child movement to better the lactation care provided to mothers and ultimately improve the infant feeding and health outcomes in Nigeria.”
The partnership will commence with a webinar on August 7, 2020 about Breastfeeding in High Risk Countries, a panel discussion with Her Excellency Toyin Saraki, Founder WBFA, Annette Brüls, CEO of Medela, Dr. Prof. Diane Spatz, PhD, RN-BC, FAAN, and Rita Momoh, lead midwife at WBFA, moderated by Tolu Adeleke, founder of Tolu The Midwife Healthcare Solutions and CEO of Maternity Hub (Nigeria). This group will discuss the need to address infant mortality and share how midwives and mothers can be supported to champion breastfeeding efforts in high risk countries such as Nigeria. To register for this webinar, visit https://bit.ly/WBFAMedela.
* IQVIA ProVoice Survey; September 2018-August 2019. Medela 2018 U.S. Breast Milk Feeding Report.
About Medela & Medela Cares
With headquarters in Baar, Switzerland and production and warehouse facilities in Baar (Switzerland), McHenry (Illinois, USA) and Changzhou (China), Medela supports millions of moms and babies and patients in 100 countries all over the world with medical vacuum technology solutions. Medela is family-owned medical device company that prides itself on being research based. For more information about Medela, the company and its offerings, visit Medela.com.
Medela has aligned its strategies and operations with the Ten Principles of the United Nations Global Compact through Medela Cares, joining in 2020. Medela Cares is focused on solutions for global issues, including maternal and infant health amidst critical transitions such as the return to work, coming home from the hospital or fostering the mother-baby bond in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), with an emphasis on serving the underrepresented and populations experiencing crisis. Medela Cares provides products and educational resources to nonprofit organizations aligned with these goals. For more information about Medela Cares, visit MedelaCares.com.
About The Wellbeing Foundation Africa
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa was founded in 2004 by Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Ojora Saraki with the aim of improving health outcomes for women, infants, and children. WBFA combines programs with advocacy work in Nigeria and around the world. More than 200,000 women have taken part in WBFA’s flagship ‘MamaCare’ classes in Nigeria. WBFA midwives transform the lives of mothers, their children, and their communities by providing healthcare training to a global standard. In 2018, the organization launched a WASH (water, sanitation, and hygiene) program and has worked with partners such as Global Water 2020 to save lives and meet global health goals in the countries it serves. For more information, visit https://www.wbfafrica.org.