Access to a midwife for every pregnant woman should be specifically indicated within the Sustainable Development Goals relating to maternal health, according to a leading pan-African maternal, newborn and child health charity that received United Nations ECOSOC status today.
This is a pivotal year for the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) to be granted consultative status, as ECOSOC is the UN’s central platform for reflection, debate, and innovative thinking on sustainable development. With the finalisation of the Sustainable Development Goals later this year, WBFA will be placing reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) in Nigeria and across the African continent, at the heart of the discussions.
Founded by Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Saraki in 2004, WBFA is a pan-African charity that combines local frontline programmes with innovative global partnerships. These partnerships include demand creation programmes with McCann Health, community-based insurance schemes with Hygeia Community Health Care (HCHC) and the PharmAccess Foundation, and on-going advocacy work with the International Confederation of Midwives.
The Founder-President of WBFA, Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Saraki is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), and will be seeking to raise awareness of the impact that midwives have in reducing maternal, newborn and child mortality. As the Lancet Series on Midwifery found, a 25% increase in access to midwives could lead to a 50% reduction in maternal mortality. Therefore, WBFA will be calling for the SDGs to recognise the important role of midwifery and ensure every childbearing woman is able to access a midwife as part of targets for maternal health. WBFA will be especially calling for Indicator number 28 (under Goal 3) to specifically mention measurable access to midwives, while the tentative Complementary National Indicator number 3.1 should mention access to midwives in high-burden countries.
Many of WBFA’s programmes are designed to equip and assist midwives so they can safely take care of mothers and children. One of WBFA’s flagship products for midwives is the Midwives Mama Kit, which contains all the necessary health commodities required for a clean delivery as well as Misoprostol and anti-hypertensives, which can transform any incidental birth location into a safe delivery facility.
Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Saraki said, “I am overjoyed that WBFA has been awarded ECOSOC consultative status. ECOSOC status will allow WBFA to advocate on a global scale for every African mother and child, especially in this important year for the MDGs and SDGs. We firmly believe that sustainable development on maternal and newborn health can only be achieved if midwives are placed at the heart of goals and targets on maternal health.”