As the inaugural Global Goodwill Ambassador of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, is pleased to receive donations of Arm Models from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) on behalf of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria.
Taking place on the 9th of July 2015 in Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory, the UNFPA donation to all the accredited Schools of Midwifery and Departments of Nursing in Nigeria will serve to strengthen midwifery education in a country where 14% of women give birth alone – with the majority of these births occurring in rural regions. While Nigeria currently accounts for 13% of all global deaths of children aged under-five and 14% of global maternal deaths, many of these deaths could be easily prevented with better access to adequate health facilities andskilled midwives.
In addition to increasing investments in midwifery and supporting the training of midwives, scaling up access to skilled midwives - who can provide both prenatal and post-natal care, as well as emergency obstetric and newborn care in rural areas - is crucial to the survival of mothers and babies in developing countries like Nigeria. As Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki continues to place midwives at the heart of international development discussions on maternal, newborn, and child health, and is leading the call to invest in the training of new and existing midwives to enable them to provide a full range of care to mothers and their babies.
To fulfil its mandate of ‘promoting and maintaining excellence in nursing education and practice,’ in 2014, the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), in collaboration with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) under the Investing in Midwives Programme (IMP), organized a Training of Trainers on Long Acting Reversible Contraceptives for Midwife Educators in all the accredited Schools of Midwifery and Departments of Nursing in Nigeria. This timely donation of Merck Anatomical Arm Models by the United Nations Population Fund therefore serves to effectively facilitate the teaching of implant-vehicle contraceptives and will further enable Nigerian midwives to provide quality care to mothers across the country.
Commending the UNFPA for its support of Nigerian midwives, the ICM Global Goodwill Ambassador and Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki, stated, “It is imperative that we act now to improve availability, accessibility, acceptability, and quality of midwifery in Nigeria. Although statistics show that only 40% of Nigerian women give birth with a skilled birth attendant present, with investments such as this from the UNFPA – which will facilitate the effective training and continuous development of midwives, Nigeria will be able to save the lives of the thousands of Nigerian women who die each year from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth.”
To further support the role of midwives in the health system, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa will be calling for access to midwives to be specifically indicated within the Sustainable Development Goals relating to maternal health. In addition, led by Mrs. Toyin Saraki, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa together with Johnson & Johnson, co-committers to the Every Woman Every Child Effort of the United Nations Secretary-General, recently partnered with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), to deliver an innovative global training package for local health workers, with an emphasis on midwives, in Kwara State, Nigeria, that has the potential to reduce maternal mortality by 15% and still birth rates by 20% in the state.