Mrs. Toyin Saraki
By Mary Ekah
Wife of former Kwara State governor and founder of The Wellbeing Founda-tion Africa (WBF Africa), a maternal and newborn health charity, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, has promised to ensure that 5.3million women across Africa had access to personal health records by 2015.
Saraki said: “I myself lost a child and nearly died in childbirth. For this reason, I am committed to spending the last 19 years of my life, the age of my surviving child, to find a solution to halt these needless deaths.”
Speaking during an event by Every Woman Every Child, which was hosted by Ray Chambers at the Grand Hyatt, New York, Saraki said over 1,500 women have died in childbirth. She said her Foundation was determined to ensure that every African woman had a personal health record, which would ensure that health information were accessed to reduce maternal and child mortality rate as well as achieve the MDG 4 and 5 targets.
She said in the next four years, the Foundation would be focusing on how to empower women to take control of their maternal health by giving every woman in Nigeria her own personal health record.
“Today, 290,000 women have records. By 2015 we want every woman in Nigeria, 5.3 million women, to have their own personal health record, 1/4 of number of women on the continent, and from there the rest of Africa. Can you imagine the number of lives this would save?
“We recognise that this is a huge challenge which can't be done in isolation, hence our commitment to the UN Secretary General’s EWEC initiative.
“We need strategic partners, globally within the UN, in Africa, in Government, and in the private sector.
“The Wellbeing Foundation Africa has taken up the challenge of leading Every Woman Every Child Nigeria, to develop an Africa-led, Africa-managed, Africa-focused, Africa-impact, private sector-driven strategy to harness multi-sector capacities and skills. We are committed to public / private sector partnerships, impact investment and innovative finance to deliver this goal and save lives by 2015. We call upon you all to partner with us, to work with us to achieve the goal of empowering 5.3 million women across Africa, and more importantly saving lives,” Saraki said.