February 16, 2024

Launching the Global Health Workforce Programme in Nigeria

February 16, 2024

Launching the Global Health Workforce Programme in Nigeria

Goodwill Speech:

Good Morning Honourable Ministers; Esteemed dignitaries; Distinguished Guests; Thank you to the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare, Tropical Health & Education Trust and Ducit Blue Solutions for hosting the Global Health Workforce Programme Nigeria Launch Event today.

I am Toyin Saraki, the Founder and President of The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, an NGO which works to improve health and wellbeing outcomes for women, infants and children across Nigeria, prioritising frontline impact with global advocacy, in alignment with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and UNFPA ICPD Programme of Action and Three Zeros, in particular zero maternal deaths by 2030.

I am honoured to address you today as we launch pivotal partnerships to enhance and advance healthcare across the nation, including the the Wellbeing Foundation Africa partnership with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine in advancing Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care competency-based curriculum for resident doctors in Obstetrics and Gynaecology at the National Postgraduate Medical College of Nigeria.

This partnership, supported by the Global Health Workforce Programme funded by the UK Department of Health and Social Care and managed by the Tropical Health and Education Trust and Ducit Blue, underscores our commitment to strengthening the healthcare workforce in Nigeria. Leveraging our previous partnership with the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, leaders in implementing and evaluating interventions and combining research with capacity strengthening in EmONC, we covered 51 HCFs in 16 LGAs in Kwara State between 2015-2020, establishing thirteen emergency obstetric and newborn care skill rooms comprising of ten main skill labs and three mini labs, benefiting over 700 healthcare providers directly, and reaching an estimated 62,900 women and their newborns, recording a 38% reduction in facility stillbirth rate, leading to the development of the Centre of Excellence. WBFA and LSTM aim to continue to collaboratively elevate healthcare delivery standards while advancing towards Universal Health Coverage for all, as fostering a more robust and sustainable healthcare workforce is paramount to ensuring the delivery of high-quality healthcare services and achieving UHC.

A well-trained and adequately supported healthcare workforce forms the backbone of all healthcare systems, serving as the frontline in addressing the diverse healthcare needs of populations. By investing in continuous professional development and training programmes, particularly in critical areas such as Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care, we not only equip healthcare professionals with the necessary skills and competencies to provide timely and effective care but also contribute to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality rates, as according to the World Health Organization, the lifetime risk of a Nigerian woman dying during pregnancy, childbirth, postpartum or post-abortion is 1 in 22, in contrast to the lifetime risk in developed countries estimated at 1 in 4900.

Our objectives are clear and resolute. We aim to engage OBGYN students in post-graduate medical education, adapt training packages for revision courses and examination OSCE, establish advanced EmONC Centers of Excellence in Abuja and Lagos, and ensure the sustainability of these centres for postgraduate OBGYN revision courses. Furthermore, we are committed to supporting the NPMCN in providing training to residents, ensuring quality assurance, and rigorously evaluating the programme for maximum impact and effectiveness.

Central to the success of this programme are the esteemed experts from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (Nigeria Liaison Group) and the experienced master trainers in advanced EmONC provided by LSTM. Their invaluable insights and guidance will undoubtedly contribute to the robustness and efficacy of our initiative, ultimately benefiting the healthcare landscape of our nation.

I extend my heartfelt gratitude to all our partners, stakeholders, government officials, dignitaries, and supporters who have joined us today. Your unwavering commitment and steadfast support will ensure we reach our mission of providing quality health and wellbeing for mothers and newborns across Nigeria.

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