Toyin Saraki leads Wellbeing Foundation Africa delegation to Women Deliver 2019; joins President of Ethiopia and Crown Princess of Denmark in advocating for Gender-Responsive Policies and Frontline Healthcare Workers
Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) Toyin Saraki this week made a series of high-level interventions at Women Deliver 2019, the world’s largest conference on gender equality and the health and rights of girls and women in the 21st century, bringing together thousands of advocates to explore the solutions to achieve a more gender-equal world.
Mrs Saraki, who is also the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives and Special Adviser to the Independent Advisory Group to the WHO Regional Office for Africa, joined world leaders including President of Ethiopia Sahle-Work Zewde, and Her Royal Highness Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark, as she led the WBFA delegation to advocate at multi-lateral events, meetings and plenaries.
In her intervention at the World Health Organization event on eliminating cervical cancer, Toyin Saraki highlighted the ground-breaking ‘Rapid Assessment of the Prevention and Control of Cancer in Nigeria’ report carried out by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa last year, with support from an Amref Health Africa research grant and Takeda Pharmaceutical Company, and commented:
“The rate of 80% of patients who are at a stage of advanced disease at time of presentation leaves little hope for many, especially given the lack of functional radiotherapy machines and other tools for diagnosis and treatment.”
“As we are gathered for Women Deliver 2019, we will all be aware that cervical cancer is, by definition, a gendered issue. One woman dies of cervical cancer every two minutes, making it one of the greatest threats to women’s health. I therefore welcome the Joint Programme established by 7 UN agencies under the United Nations Task Force on NCDs, to prevent and control cervical cancer, providing global leadership and technical assistance to support governments and the partners to build and sustain programmes, and call for a greater focus on prevention. That means going beyond giving the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccination to adolescent girls, to also include boys and married women”.
Mrs Saraki made interventions on further high-level events, including at a multi-lateral session on the future of digital training for frontline healthcare workers, which was also addressed by Her Royal Highness Mary, Crown Princess of Denmark.
“At Women Deliver 2019 I have advocated for the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Gender Development Goals, as we stand on a gender precipice. Since 2014 the WBFA has acted on its eponymous goals, casting a gender lens on all of its programmes, and putting midwives at the heart of women's wellbeing.”
“It has been a pleasure to join leaders, experts and advocates, as we work together to create a more equal world for women and girls to the benefit of every community. I welcome the new commitments that have emerged at Women Deliver 2019, including the gender funding promise made by Justin Trudeau, Prime Minister of Canada, whilst calling for a re-energisation of the global community to ensure that equality and equity becomes a reality at every level.”