Etisalat, Traffina Foundation Takes Maternal Healthcare To 16 Communities

By Uche Peter

Lagos, Nigeria; December 11, 2015: Over 600 women have benefitted from a Maternal Healthcare Delivery Programme sponsored by Nigeria’s most innovative telecommunications operator, Etisalat in partnership with frontline NGO on maternal and Child Health, Traffina Foundation for Maternal Health.

The women who were mainly pregnant mothers were drawn from 16 communities in six South-South and South-East states of Edo, Delta, Cross River, Imo, Anambra and Enugu.

The programme, which held between December 7 and 10 in the beneficiary states was designed to help prevent cases of maternal death and infection during childbirth resulting from ignorance, carelessness, errors from untrained Medicare givers and patronage of traditional midwives.

It featured key presentations on maternal health by experts as well as distribution of free Safe Birth Bags which contained basic childbirth tools that enhance safe and infection-free child delivery.

Speaking at the official flag-off of the programme in the beneficiary states, Head, Government and Community Relations, Etisalat Nigeria, Mohammed Suleh-Yusuf, said the company’s involvement in the initiative is a direct function of its belief in quality partnership and support for on-going efforts towards producing a healthy citizenry.

His words, “Etisalat believes that the provision of quality health to Nigerians must not be borne by the government alone thus we have chosen to support mothers, children and adolescents in our communities with quality medical aid. We are proud to be able to contribute positively to achieving the government’s objective of improved quality health care and we will continue to collaborate with government to move states and indeed the nation forward, even as we work towards being the telecommunications partner of choice for Nigeria.”

Also speaking, the founder and Chief Executive Officer, Traffina Foundation for Maternal Health, Mrs. Chinomso Obi-Peters, said the initiative was a response to the need to urgently arrest the scourge of the growing rate of maternal mortality which a 2014 United Nations Report puts at 62% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

“Maternal mortality especially in the rural communities is high and this is due to certain factors among which is ignorance. Most women in the rural areas do not see the need to attend ante-natal and in some cases, they resort to traditional doctors who do not have the requisite training in the event of emergency. So, we decided to go to the communities with what they need, and that includes quality information and basic Safe Childbirth Kits,” said Mrs. Obi-Peters.

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.

The Etisalat Community Support Initiative is part of its multi-faceted CSR programme that is committed to 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.