Making Birth Safer for Mothers in Nigeria
By Charles Redding, MedShare CEO & President
Just over a year ago, nine developing nations committed to cutting preventable maternal and neonatal deaths in half. Bangladesh, Cote d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Malawi, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Uganda are working to improve the quality of care provided to women and infants in their countries’ healthcare facilities. In our own effort to support these nations’ commitment to better Maternal & Child Health, MedShare has joined forces with The Coca Cola West Africa Business Unit (WABU) and the Nigerian Ministry of Health to support women and babies at risk of preventable death in Nigeria.
Nigeria loses 2,300 children under five and 145 women of childbearing age every day. “This makes the country the second largest contributor to the under-five and maternal mortality rate in the world,” UNICEF states.
Underneath the statistics lies the pain of human tragedy for thousands of families who have lost their children and mothers. Even more devastating is the knowledge that, according to recent research, essential interventions reaching women and babies on time would have averted most of these deaths.
The Safe Birth Initiative, a joint enterprise between MedShare, The Coca-Cola WABU, and the Nigerian Ministry of Health, will improve the quality of maternal and neonatal health in Nigeria. By equipping facilities with better detection methods and building capacity for improved treatment, more families in Nigeria will be able to celebrate the birth of their children rather than mourn a death that could have been prevented. Through the donation of medical supplies and biomedical equipment, this initiative has the potential to strengthen healthcare for generations of Nigerians.
MedShare and The Coca-Cola Africa Foundation successfully strengthened health systems in five African countries through our ShareHope Program, concluding in 2016. The Safe Birth Initiative will take advantage of strong in-country partnerships built during the five-year program and equip healthcare professionals with the tools they need to provide quality care to pregnant women, new mothers, and infants. The program will focus on providing methods for early detection and expanded treatment, including biomedical equipment training. The training, a key part of the success of this initiative, will provide facilities with state of the art prevention and diagnostic tools, equip biomedical technicians with lifesaving knowledge and skills, and enable the best care possible for women and children in low-resource areas.
MedShare’s partnership with healthcare providers in Nigeria has led to great success in strengthening their health systems and providing better care in 18 of Nigeria’s 36 states. We have invested more than $25 million in Nigeria’s healthcare and served more than 1.25 million patients across the country. We are excited to launch the Safe Birth Initiative and to focus our efforts on supporting Nigeria’s families and providing better care for mothers and newborns in need.
MedShare will host Nigeria Day on Friday, April 6th. To secure an invitation or discuss sponsorships, contact MedShare’s Vice President of International Relations, Nell Diallo, at email@example.com.
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