WHO Appoints Toyin Saraki Special Envoy


Senator Iroegbu in Abuja
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has appointed the wife of the Senate President and Founder-President of Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, as the Special Adviser to the Independent Advisory Group (IAG) Regional Office for Africa.

This was disclosed yesterday by the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Mathshidiso Moeti, when she led a high level courtesy visit to Mrs. Saraki in Abuja.

Moeti said the appointment is in recognition of the commendable works Saraki has done in the area of maternal health as well as efforts towards Universal Health Coverage in Nigeria.

She also stressed that their visit is part of a strategic plan for health development within the African region.

She said: “We know that we have many health needs and challenges in the African region, especially Nigeria. We also know that one of the key areas we didnt make much progress in the MDGs is the issue of maternal health.

“So I was very much pleased when I heard about your passion and your work in this area especially with the Midwives. I think your initiatives and energy in this regard is commendable.”

Speaking further, the WHO Regional Director said no Nigeria deserves to die due to lack of finance to enjoy basic health needs.

According to her, it would be unfair to deny people the basic healthcare needs and called for effective action towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and community health insurance scheme.

To this end, she noted that Mrs. Saraki’s “experience in the community health insurance will help in WHO’s efforts for UHC financing.

“I am absolutely determined that my team in Nigerian will work with you both within the continent and outside. I am so thankful that you are on ground doing something,” she said.

Moeti said: “The overall objective of the visit is to discuss the terms of partnership for implementing health strategies within Africa, and sharing, learning and advisory for improvement and scale-up of existing programmes.”

Responding, Mrs. Saraki accepted the appointment and expressed excitement on the opportunity the platform would provide her to meet with people of like-minds across Africa towards improved healthcare and maternal health.

On the maternal mortality, the former Kwara State first lady noted: “What is killing our mothers and children is poor training for midwives and that the standard of training given to the doctors are not stepped to the midwives and nurses.”

To this end, she called for effective training of health-care workers, education and financial inclusion.

She noted that the call by Wellbeing Foundation Africa call for the implementation of UHC resonates with the WHO’s goal to achieve health for all.

Saraki said their activities as an organisation is driven to provide accessible healthcare for all, especially through their Mamacare Antenatal and Postnatal Education Classes, which takes important health education to expectant mothers irrespective of where they are located, within the states in Nigeria wherein the programme is being implemented.

She also added that the Personal Health Records (PHR) developed by their team is designed to promote health for all by collecting data on maternal and child health for improved decision making by mothers, and fostering better health records.