FROM September 19th, 2023
New York, United States – The year 2023, midpoint of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, marks a critical turning point in the global conversation around adolescent wellbeing and maternal healthcare. The Wellbeing Foundation Africa was proud to join the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) meeting this September, bringing together influential global players to address the pressing needs of adolescents and to shine a light on a critical, often-overlooked phase of maternal health: the fourth trimester.
More than ten global organisations, including the Wellbeing Foundation Africa in partnership with Reckitt joined forces with Fondation Botnar to commit to action aimed at tackling the challenges faced by the world’s 1.8 billion adolescents, including water, sanitation and hygiene, focused on our programming, Dettol Nigeria Hygiene Quest.
Alongside this, at CGI, I was honoured to contribute to ‘The Fourth Trimester: How to Provide Postpartum Support and Reduce Post-Birth Mortality’, addressing the critical issue that demands our immediate attention: the fourth trimester, that often-overlooked period from birth to 12 weeks. This is a time when the delicate dance of mother-baby bonding unfolds, and mothers embark on the journey of physical recovery from childbirth.
This phase represents a time of profound vulnerability for mothers as they navigate physical and emotional changes, including sleep deprivation, hormonal fluctuations, and the responsibility of nurturing a newborn. Unfortunately, inadequate support during the fourth trimester can lead to long-term health issues, including postpartum depression, anxiety, and increased risk of chronic illnesses.
Nigeria, like the United States, faces similar challenges in maternal healthcare. Maternal mortality rates remain a pressing concern, particularly for black, asian and minority ethnic rural and underserved communities in the USA. In this pivotal moment in history, it is imperative that we recognize the urgency of these matters and take global action to ensure that mothers and babies not only survive but thrive during the critical phases of healthcare.
As we unite in our efforts to protect the wellbeing of mothers, their newborns and adolescents worldwide, let us forge a path toward a brighter, healthier future.
View this post on Instagram
FROM September 28th, 2020
Throughout the pandemic, my Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s dedicated groundforce of 47 professional community midwives have stretched themselves to the furthest villages in Nigeria, to continue providing a continuum of care and counsel to 8,000 women monthly across six states. That’s because we know childbirth, newborn care, reproductive health, nutrition, the need for water, sanitation and hygiene, sexual and gender-based violence counselling and sexual assault referral centres cannot stop working during a pandemic. If the routine wellbeing work that we do should falter under the stress of the pandemic, its impact would be magnified well past the virus’ infections.
That my organisation knows intimately about the communities in which they serve and the complications and context specific to their regions and their people not only allows them to give aid and provide education in the most fitting way, but also allows me to be able to most accurately relay what nuances impact work on the frontline to stakeholders in the wider international development community, like at the United Nations General Assembly and the Concordia Summit this week. There have been calls for years to transition towards a locally-owned development sector, and my organisations from the Wellbeing Foundation Africa to Alaafia Kwara know fluently about the need to support women working and driving progress at the community level.
To put theory into practice translating community level work to the resources and might of global experts, I recently reached out to Concordia, who swiftly identified an amazing network of partners to help us come out of the pandemic stronger than ever before. Concordia understood the need for the Wellbeing Foundation to collaborate towards catalysing and financing a comprehensive community health care model with all basic services from conception and cradle to age. They recognised the necessary underpinnings of diagnostics and essential medicines supply chains, and bring a wellspring of excellence to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030 across Nigeria sustainably, affordably, respectfully and in a way that is accessible to all. Because Concordia’s network of experts need the expertise of my locally-focused organisation and the Wellbeing Foundation Africa needs their expertise, I was proud to partner Concordia and my Wellbeing Foundation Africa for the Concordia Summit during the UNGA last week.
I had the honour and privilege of introducing the new Concordia Action Alliance, which is designed to support the year-round coordination of activities and the formation of partnerships that support disaster or global health response, recovery, resilience and prevention. Moreover, I was pleased that so many at the Concordia Summit’s event with Women Political Leaders agree that increasing the number of female leaders, in both politics and healthcare, is an essential component of strengthening global health and crisis resilience. The role of women amidst the pandemic is critical; as midwives, doctors, nurses and frontline healthcare workers, women are oftentimes making initial decisions for COVID-19 response and global health systems.
From strengthening multilateral relationships to improving access to water, sanitation and hygiene resources in Nigeria and around Africa to investing in the promise of technology to support our beleaguered healthcare systems, high-level meetings at the UNGA, and with Members of the Concordia Leadership Council, are important to coalesce our minds and directional strategies. By talking with leaders from other countries and experts from their respective fields, we are forming new pathways for progress for Nigeria’s complicated problems.
As a Leadership Council Member involved in the global health and humanitarian space, I’m grateful to entities like Concordia that can support coordination and offer flexible, rapidly deployed funding. Concordia’s high level programming and network drives forward a resilience agenda, and its commitment to action through partnership support is what ensures the work gets done on the ground.
FROM September 24th, 2019
Good morning. I am delighted to extend a very warm welcome to all of you to this International Day of the Midwife event, hosted jointly by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and ACT Foundation.