By Ugo Aliogo
As part of its drive to improve antenatal care and assist women from pregnancy to child birth and beyond, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa has improved the lives of 200,000 people in one year.
The founder of the foundation and the Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, who spoke in Lagos yesterday during a courtesy visit to the Medical Clinic of Brigade 9, Ikeja Cantonment, noted that through the mamacare antenatal education classes, they educate women about their bodies and babies.
She added that the classes which were delivered in military hospitals in Lagos and Kwara States deploy skilled midwives at no cost to military families in order to provide them education and support about their health from birth to age.
“At present, we have reached over 350 military spouses each week, but we are determined to scale this programme across Nigeria for the benefit of civilians and service people alike.
Much like the Armed Forces protect and nurture us, it is my hope that the work of the foundation reassures them, in turn that their families are safe and secured,” she noted.
Saraki explained that since the foundation began teaching, they had discovered that the antenatal rate went up; adding that instead of the mothers coming four times during pregnancy which she noted was the actual time recommended in Nigeria, they come for classes every month.
She added: “The testimony in this is that the World Health Organisation (WHO) recently changed the recommendation that for middle income countries, therefore women should have one Antenatal visit per month about their pregnancy.
“Something good has come out of Nigeria and it is been accepted by the rest of the world. We have 20 locations around Nigeria. For the armed forces location, we have just three. Through the Mamacare programme, we have reached 200,000 people in a year, in some other countries that will be a huge success. “I’m hoping that other stakeholders and even government can make a difference. Making a difference in the life of a pregnant women and her child gives an infinite chance of doing the right thing.”
The Wife of the Senate President further expressed hope that the move would inspire people to support antenatal care, stating that in 2004; there was a 1-6 death rate in pregnancy in the country, while in 2016, the figure rose to 1-12, “we have been teaching mothers about breastfeeding. When you educate them about their bodies and all they need to do in order to look after their babies. This gives them a level of confidence.”