In a move to create awareness of the direct and indirect costs of stillbirths, Mrs. Toyin Saraki, Founder-President of the leading maternal health NGO - Wellbeing Foundation Africa, today spoke with the BBC to call for improvements in health education and access to primary healthcare – key elements to reducing stillbirths around the world. Pls cont reading
Mrs. Saraki, who tragically lost one of her twins due to failures in the Nigerian public health care system, stated:
"I was fighting for one life and bewildered how to mourn the other life… People did not know whether to congratulate or commiserate with me."
According to Mrs. Saraki, this experience informed her decision to co-author the third report in the Lancet ‘Ending Preventable Stillbirths’ Series launched on 19th January 2015, titled Stillbirths: economic and psychosocial consequences. In this report, Mrs. Saraki and WBFA provided a unique perspective on stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa; sharing interventions such as the WBFA Personal Health Records, the Foundation’s emergency obstetric and newborn care training with Johnson & Johnson and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and their work on Respectful Maternity Care for new and expectant mothers.
Sharing with the BBC, the WBFA Founder further stated:
"Stillbirths often go unrecorded, let alone lead to counselling. This is why I started the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, which works to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health across the continent."
Mrs. Saraki also participated in a short section for BBC Hausa and BBC Online where she shared what women should do during pregnancy to prevent stillbirths, sharing information on monitoring pregnancy and measures that can be taken to save newborns.
Her interview with Sophie Ikenye of BBC Focus on Africa TV, is due to be shown at 5.30pm (GMT) on January 19 on BBC World.