By SOLA OGUNDIPE
They are three of a kind – Babatunde Emmauel Ajidagba, Chukwudera Bridget Mmaduabu (nee Okeke) and Mu’azu Mohammed. All activists, their backgrounds are diverse, but their future is united by a common cause,which is the wellbeing and health of Nigerian women and girls.
Tunde, Chukwudera and Mu’azu, foresee a better future for Nigerian girls and women. They desire a better tomorrow for women and girls and are going all out to fulfil that goal.
The trio are Nigerian representatives of the Women Deliver’s 100 Young Leaders-a group of inspiring young people selected to receive scholarships to attend the largest global meeting of the decade to focus on the health and well-being of girls and women, (the 2013 Women Deliver conference), they have handed opportunity to learn more about issues affecting women and girls’ wellbeing and livelihood as well as connecting with experts from around the world.
As the conference gets underway today in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, these young Nigerians, on a rescue mission of maternal health, are set to be part of history. Already, they have positioned themselves to join thousands of other maternal health advocates, from around the world, to attend the monumental world meeting.
“We are adding our voices to highlight the plight of women and girls on Earth,” stressed Bridget – a sociologist, independent consultant, development practitioner and experienced sexual and reproductive health and rights advocate. A a volunteer with Concern Women International Development Initative, and consultant for Citizen’s
Health and Education Development(CHEDI), Bridget hopes to learn the success stories and challenges of other countries in the bid towards the Nigerian government committing resources towards achieving better maternal health in the country.
“I’m hoping to add my voice to discussions on post 2015 agenda, particularly the implications for the realisation of young people’s sexual and reproductive health in developing countries,” she asserts
As for Babatunde, a final year medical student of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State, Nigeria has similar ambitions. “My passion is for women and girls’ reproductive health and rights.
Coordinator of a Campus Health and Rights Initiative (CHRI) – a youth based organization promoting reproductive health and rights among young adults, Babatunde is providing quality, accessible, and affordable sexual and reproductive health education and health services to peers through an awareness programme tagged Campus Health Forum.
“My desire and wish for Nigerian girls and women is that their reproductive health will be promoted and their reproductive rights will be protected.”
Mu’azu, 26, is Program Support Assistant with Targeted States High Impact Project, TSHIP, a system strengthening project with focus on integrated interventions on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health, MNCH; family planning and reproductive health in Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria. Mu’azu holds a Masters Degree in International Studies from Usmanu DanFodiyo University Sokoto, with a background in advocacy and community mobilization on sexual reproductive health and rights including HIV/AIDS.
“This conference is an opportunity for a young advocate who has interest in improving health of girls and women in Africa to meet other young people from other continents to others with different background and experiences with info and share exp and interact. There will be the opportunity to advocate with country delegates ministries of health and finance, and tell the need for young girls and women, in aspects of reproductive health matters.”