August 12, 2018

Well-Being Foundation Africa, others in race to reduce maternal, infant mortality

Well-Being Foundation Africa, others in race to reduce maternal, infant mortality

HE, Toyin Ojora Saraki, (5th from right) with some health experts, explaining a point on maternal healthcare.

HE, Toyin Ojora Saraki, (5th from right) with some health experts, explaining a point on maternal healthcare.

By Charles Kumolu

THE Wellbeing Foundation Africa, WBFA, Johnson and Johnson and Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine are set to collaborate in providing healthcare facilities for the improvement of health outcomes for mothers and newborns in Kwara State.

The partnership which is expected to focus on  Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care, EmONC, would resonate across the state.

Founder of WBFA, Mrs. Toyin Ojora Saraki, said the project, which had been implemented in seven Local Government Areas, resulted in a 15 percent reduction in the maternal fatality rate.

In addition, a 38-percent reduction in the rate of stillbirth is expected in healthcare facilities across the remaining 16 LGAs where the project would further be implemented.

According to her: “The partnership, which focuses on Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (EmONC) training in healthcare will now cover all 16 LGAs and consolidate the work in the areas in which the training is already active. This follows the successful completion of the first two phases of the partnership, which have been hailed as transforming the capacity of healthcare workers and their ability to save lives during labour.

“Partnerships like ours are so important because of the huge improvements that can readily be made. 80 percent of all maternal deaths result from five complications which can be readily treated by qualified and trained health professionals. They include hemorrhage, sepsis, eclampsia, complications of abortion and obstructed labour.

“Our EmONC training is so successful because it takes place in-house and equips doctors, nurses, and midwives, as a collective team, with the skills needed to overcome these obstetric emergencies.

“We will build on the lessons we have learned from our partnership to improve outcomes across all LGAs in Kwara State. I look forward to working together with our esteemed partners, local champions and health workers, to continue to save lives and help mothers, newborns and communities thrive.”

On her part, Country Manager of Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies in Nigeria, Michelle Akande, said:   “We believe, in partnerships, we can achieve so much more than what we can achieve alone.   Because of partners such as Wellbeing Foundation Africa and the Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, we believe we can achieve the aspiration of ending preventable maternal and child death. However, we need each and every one of you to join us because it is our collective dedication and commitment that will make this aspiration a reality.”

A Senior Clinical Lecturer, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, LSTM, Dr. Charles Ameh,   said: “What is particularly exciting about phase three of this programme is the ability to be able to improve the availability and quality of emergency obstetric and newborn care across the entire state. The continued partnership with Johnson & Johnson, Wellbeing Foundation Africa and the Ministry of Health in Kwara State will not only allow LSTM to build the capacity of health care workers in LGAs where we have not worked before, but we will be consolidating the achievements of previous phases to ensure sustainability of the intervention.”

The WBFA has been known to take up interventions in areas of healthcare delivery, especially as it affects women and new borns.   The Foundation has also carried out philantrophic activities through its timely  support for and assistance given to some less priviledged who have had life-threatening injuries.