ABUJA – The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is expanding its MamaCare Antenatal and Postnatal Education program in Nigeria’s Federal Capital territory of Abuja, to reach more local government associations.
The ‘MamaCare + Nutrition program’ will now reach four more local government associations and a further twenty-eight healthcare facilities, as the foundation has strengthened its midwifery workforce, who will help the program to reach an additional 11,000 mothers and newborns annually, with respectful inter-personal maternity care, communications, education and counsel.
The expansion, expected to improve the nutrition component of the MamaCare program, is being supported by the United Nations Population Fund, the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation, Toyin Saraki praised the partnership expansion this week.
“As events to mark International Day of the Midwife draw to a close, I am delighted that with the support of the United Nations Population Fund, we will be enabling so many more mothers to access quality antenatal and postnatal health with our life-saving Mamacare programme,” said Saraki.
“It is also crucial that we have been able to adapt the program to lend a greater focus to nutrition. The first 1,000 days of a child’s life offer a critical window of opportunity for preventing under-nutrition and its consequences as part of the reproductive health care continuum, and will be vital if Nigeria is to meet its commitments under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
“According to UNICEF, malnutrition is a direct or underlying cause of 45 percent of all deaths of children under the age of five. Nigeria has the second highest burden of stunted children in the world, with a national prevalence rate of 43 percent of children under five – translating into 16.5 million children.”
Wellbeing Foundation Africa CEO, Mrs Amy Oyekunle said, “Our research reveals a clear link between anaemia and sub-optimal maternal nutrition, and a mother’s success in establishing the essential lactation and breastfeeding to give her newborn the best start in life. The Foundation delivers on the eight antenatal care visits recommended by the World Health Organization, and follows up with new mothers to ensure that breastfeeding is being undertaken – for the good of mother and baby.”
The intended outcome of the partnership is to ensure that Nigerians enjoy improved well-being through sustainable, equitable and quality basic social and protection services which fulfil their human rights and contribute to greater social cohesion and economic development.