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Toyin Saraki’s Wellbeing Foundation Africa, The International Confederation Of Midwives, UNFPA And Partners Merge Global Health Frameworks With In-Country Priorities; Building Capacity For Improved Midwifery Outcomes In Nigeria

By WellBeing Foundation
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For two days, from 4th May till 5th May 2016, in Abuja, Nigeria, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa and the National Association Of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) marked the International Day of the Midwife, highlighting innovative skills-building training with partners including UNFPA, the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), GE Healthcare, Access Bank, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM), and many others at Nigeria's First Global Midwifery Conference, themed "IDM2016; Midwives Save Lives".

This conference was held to promote and raise awareness on maternal, newborn and child health, especially including the important role midwives play in that continuum of care. The conference celebrated the hardwork and dedication of the midwives, and encouraged key stakeholders to invest in their training and education, as well as the essential regulation of the profession.

  • Speaking at the conference, the Global CEO of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), Mr Stephen Sobhani noted: “Midwives are the first eyes to see and the first hands to hold our future”. He also explained, “if we improve lives, we save the world, and Nigerians can change the world. WBFA has always put midwives at the centre of its interventions, as we understand the important position they hold in achieving sustainable change in healthcare, as well as reaching the SDG targets for Nigeria and the rest of sub-Saharan Africa.

To celebrate the International Day of the Midwife, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa highlighted launched its sustainable development goal targeted advocacy and project interventions, including the #MamaCare and #MamaKind programmes. These will complement the Foundation’s long-standing work, including the popular #MaternalMonday campaign.

At the Conference, Nigeria’s Minister of Health commended the organizers, assuring that Nigeria will continue to deploy and re-deploy midwives to all parts of Nigeria, as it works assiduously to strengthen the human resources for health capacity of this great country. Also, the UNFPA restated its passion for the strengthening of midwifery education in Nigeria, by donating training kits to selected midwifery schools, in Nigeria.

The Founder-President of the WBFA and the inaugural Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), Her Excellency, Mrs. Toyin Saraki emphasized the importance of midwifery to Nigeria and Africa: “ I personally commend the dedication of Nigerian midwives, as well as the efforts of midwives from all around the world.

I have seen with my own eyes the value that having a midwife can make to a mother to be nurtured towards save birth for our newborns to survive alive, and thrive; thus an investment in midwives and mothers, is the best investment we can make to transform our futures to be a future that is truly assured”.

The conference consolidated the commitments that Nigerian health professionals, academics, and policymakers have made in saving the lives of mothers and newborns in their country, through improving the status of the midwife and the profession. The Conference ended on a highly interactive and exciting note of certificated training workshop modules for all midwives and healthcare workers present; these were focused around Emergency Obstetrics and Newborn Care (EmONC), and facilitated by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM).