April 24, 2024

Encouraging the potential of ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers for Women In Healthcare’ as we enter the new week!

April 24, 2024

Encouraging the potential of ‘Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers for Women In Healthcare’ as we enter the new week!

Goodwill Message:


Theme: “POW(H)ER CONNECT: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers”

Distinguished Guests and Healthcare Professionals,

It is with immense pleasure that I join you today on this momentous occasion, as we gather for the Women in Healthcare Forum in collaboration with the Women in Healthcare Network at the Shiro Restaurant in the Landmark Centre today.

My name is Toyin Saraki, and I am the Founder and President of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, an NGO headquartered in Nigeria which works to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for women and children across the country. WBFA prioritises frontline impact with global advocacy, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

First and foremost, I want to extend a heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Dupe Elebute-Odunsi and all the founding members of the Women in Healthcare Network Nigeria for their dedication, vision, and unwavering commitment to empowering women in the healthcare sector. Your leadership is truly inspiring, and it’s an honour to be part of this incredible journey with you.

Today, as we come together under the theme “POW(H)ER CONNECT: Building Bridges, Breaking Barriers,” we embark on a journey of empowerment, collaboration, and positive change. We recognise the pivotal role that women play in healthcare, not just in Nigeria but around the world.

Women make up 70% of the global health and social workforce, and it is estimated that women provide essential health services for around 5 billion people worldwide. According to The Lancet, in Nigeria nearly all midwives, 87% of nursing personnel, and 65% of medical doctors are women. While the financial value of women’s input into health systems is estimated to be over US$3 trillion annually, women’s contributions to health and the health labour market remain markedly undervalued, and they are vastly underrepresented in leadership positions.

Women in health tend to be clustered into lower status, low paid, and often unpaid roles. The healthcare development agenda in Nigeria and across Africa must better value women’s contributions to the population’s physical, social and mental wellbeing. Alongside this, equity issues pertaining to decent work free from all forms of discrimination, harassment, including sexual harassment; gender pay gap; occupational segregation by gender and leadership are important for all United Nations member states to address if the 15 million health worker shortfall to achieve Universal Health Care is to be redressed in an equitable, inclusive and sustainable way.
These disparities are not just a statistic—it’s a challenge that we must collectively address and overcome, as gender equity is key to building resilient health systems and gender transformative health and social care policies to achieve health and wellbeing for all.

Women in Healthcare Network’s mission to connect, inform, and inspire women in the healthcare industry is more important now than ever before. By providing a platform for networking, mentorship, education, and advocacy, today’s Women in Healthcare Forum will empower women to reach their full potential and break through the barriers that hold them back. Yet our work does not stop there, we must also confront the systemic challenges that hinder women’s progress in healthcare, whether it’s gender disparities in leadership roles or the lack of access to financial support for women-led healthcare ventures and opportunity to upskill for women healthcare workers.
As we look forward to the sessions planned for today, let us do so with open minds, compassionate hearts, and a shared commitment to driving positive change for all women in healthcare. “Where Women Lead in Health, Transformation Tends to Follow” – in the realm of healthcare, where women take leadership roles, transformative changes tend to follow.

I am confident that today’s forum will not only inspire us but also galvanise us into action. Together, we have the power to shape the future of healthcare, to break down barriers, and to build equitable bridges that pave the way for a more inclusive and healthier tomorrow.

Thank you.

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