Wife of the Senate President, Mrs. Toyin Ojora Saraki, has been named as special adviser to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Office for Africa (AFRO).
The media office of the wife of the Senate President in a statement in Abuja said the appointment was made earlier this month byÂ WHOâ€™s Regional Director for Africa,Â Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, â€œin a move intended to bring Mrs. Sarakiâ€™s considerable frontline experience to bear on WHOâ€™s strategy and policy.â€
Saraki has since accepted the appointment based on the Advisory Groupâ€™s focus on women and childrenâ€™s health and in view of her role as a global champion for Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC).
She said: â€œI welcome the Advisory Group meetingâ€™s focus on the health of women, children and adolescents as flagship indicators for Universal Healthcare Coverage (UHC) progress.
â€œAs a global champion for UHC, I advocate for a fuller understanding of its benefits, which go beyond health outcomes and include improved gender equality, higher levels of preparedness for epidemic outbreaks and transformative economic effects.
â€œAs Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives, I particularly welcome the introduction of WHO AFROâ€™s focused curriculum for the professional qualification education of midwives and nurses in Africa.
â€œI am looking forward to hitting the ground running in my new role as special advisor at the IAG meeting this week in Johannesburg, South Africa.
â€œThe experience I have gained as Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, working closely with our midwives on the frontline, as part of the global Every Woman Every Child Strategy to end all preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths, including stillbirths, by 2030, will inform my advice to the WHO.
â€œLast year, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus became the first African Director-General of the WHO, while his commitment to UHC represents bold leadership.Â I look forward to working closely with him, Dr. Moeti and all partners to make affordable and accessible healthcare a reality across Africa.â€
Sarakiâ€™s first engagement in the new role will take place this week at the third meeting of the IAG in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The meeting will focus on repositioning the work of the WHO in Africa in the context of the WHOâ€™s 13th General Programme of Work (GPW13) and the global WHO Transformation Plan.