By OKECHUKWU PEACE
Ondo State Governor, Olusegun Mimiko, wife of the Nigerian Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki and other leaders in the African community have expressed a strong commitment to contribute to an improved healthcare system for women in West Africa.
Speaking at the Women Deliver conference in Denmark, Copenhagen on Thursday, May 19, 2016, Mimiko, represented by the Commissioner of Health, Dr. Adeyanju, highlighted the vital role of government in reducing the mortality rate of women in Africa. According to him, a strong political will, backed with strategic actions can prevent pregnancy-related death among women. “We can ensure that pregnancy is not a death sentence.” Mimiko declared.
In same vein, Founder and President of Wellbeing Foundation, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, called on Ministers of Health, Education and Finance in the region to ensure their governments invest more in programs that guarantee women’s safety all through the phases of pregnancy. “Educating girls on how to thrive during pregnancy is equally important as ensuring they survive childbirth”, Mrs. Saraki explained.
In addition, the youth speaker at the event, Mojisola Alausa, reassured the audience of the opportunities embedded in investing in women’s health. “There is a big opportunity for everyone here today; if we all decide to work together and take bold actions to invest in women and girls we will all reap the benefits today and secure the future not just for women and girl but also for everyone.”, she noted.
On a related note, Dr. Brocar Daf, Director of Maternal and Child Health at Ministry of Health Senegal, pointed out the need to ensure that women in poor communities and remote areas are not neglected in the implementation of improved healthcare initiatives. “We need to reach those who are most vulnerable by leveraging on the most relevant means possible”, he appealed.
Attendees at the conference also include Ghanaian Parliamentarian, Hon William Kwasi Sabi, President Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, Professor Joseph Ifeanyi, and the Director Ouagadougou Partnership, Fatimata Sy.