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.
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