Etisalat, Traffina Applauded Over Maternal Health Initiative

By Uche Peter

Lagos, Nigeria; January 4, 2016: Following the successful implementation of the maternal health initiative in 16 communities across six states in the South-East and South-South regions of the country by Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications operator, Etisalat and frontline NGO, Traffina Foundation for Maternal Health, commendation messages have continued to pour in the way of the two organisations.

Eze Ebube Dike of Ulakwo Autonomous Community, Owerri North in Imo State, HRH, Raphael Nnana Oparaochaekwe, whose community benefitted from the scheme is among several leaders who have expressed delight at the immediate impact of the initiative just as he commended the organizers over it.

“I am very happy to witness this in my community. It might sound strange, but this is the first time I have seen a company come do a thing as this here. I am happy that they also noticed that the rate at which pregnant women die in this community has been alarming, and with this kind of education, it will be minimised. We are happy because we have been favoured. We are not the only community affected by this, but we have been favoured,” he said.

While speaking on the import of the initiative, the chairman of Aniocha Local Government Council, Delta State, Hon. Chuks Oseme, commended the team for picking a very good cause to promote and also for the useful insights offered on maternal health.

His words, “I am very happy and proud of the organisers for the good they are doing to our community and other communities. I will say I am really captivated by this programme. I can see they picked a very good cause to promote. There is a lot of value in doing this. The talks have also shown that rich or poor, you can survive if you have the right information and work with such.”

The Chairman of Calabar South local government council, Mrs. Majorie Eyo Asuquo, commended the organizers for focusing on pregnant women, which was never the case.

“This is very good indeed and laudable. We have always focused on health workers and facilities but have never really touched the pregnant women themselves, those carrying the babies and Etisalat is doing this, for the first time, so it is very good. We already have well-equipped health Centres as well as birth attendants, but no specific attention on the pregnant women themselves. Now, we have everything complete- patients, facilities and personnel,” she said.

In a 2014 Report, Trends in Maternal Mortality: 1990 – 2013, released by World Health Organization (WHO), the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), the World Bank, and the UN Population Division, about 289,000 women worldwide died in 2013 during pregnancy or childbirth, and 62% of those deaths occurred in sub-Saharan Africa. In the same 2013, the maternal mortality ratio in developing countries was 230 women per 100,000 births to 16 women per 100,000 in developed countries.

Over 600 women, mainly pregnant mothers drawn from six states of Edo, Delta, Cross River, Imo, Anambra and Enugu, benefitted from the Maternal Healthcare Delivery programme.

The Etisalat Maternal Health platform was undertaken under the auspices of Etisalat Community Support Initiative which is part of the company’s multi-faceted CSR programme that focuses on giving value to its host communities through various intervention programmes covering education, health, etc. It is designed to support ongoing efforts towards the development of select sectors and the society at large with focus on improvement in standards of living and capacity giving for more success.