“Together For Healthy Families In Nigeria” Campaign Bags $2 Million Grant From Rotary Foundation

By Samuel Ouma

Providing mothers and newborns with targeted healthcare, will have an immediate and long-term impact on not just mothers but also the wider community, says Professor Emmanuel Adedolapo

The Rotary Foundation donated $2 million to “Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria,” to reduce maternal and newborn mortality in selected local government areas by 25 per cent.

The Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health (RMCH), in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria and Nigerian and German Rotary members, initiated the award.

More than 1.5 million people will be reached through essential health services and awareness-raising campaigns to encourage families to seek clinical care. The initiative will also increase data-tracking capabilities concerning maternal and neonatal deaths so that interventions can be tailored to specific needs.

“Providing mothers and newborns with targeted healthcare, while also improving the systemic access to life-saving services will have an immediate and long-term impact on not just mothers but also the wider community,” said Professor Emmanuel Adedolapo Lufadeju, National Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Ibadan-Jericho Metro, who spearheaded the program more than two decades ago.

“Applying our experiences and the lessons learned from our previous efforts in other target states will help facilitate smooth scaling up, replication and sustainability. We have made maternal death in Nigeria a notifiable condition. It is imperative for our future that we address this now”, he added.

“Through the power of preventative care, Rotary is committed to providing mothers and children everywhere with the same opportunities for a healthy future,” said Rotary International President Jennifer Jones. “From decades of collaboration and strong partnerships, ‘Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria’ will build upon past successes and lessons-learned to strengthen health systems, instill trust in health services, engage communities, and empower women to advocate for themselves and their families.”

With the help of the Nigerian federal and state ministries of health, the Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria, the Nigerian Society of Neonatal Medicine, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, and the Paediatric Association of Nigeria, “Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria” advances the commitment of Rotary members to enhancing maternal and infant health.

“Each pregnancy magnifies the mother’s health risks, especially when she doesn’t have access to proper care,” said Jan-Peter Sander, program lead in Germany and member of the Rotary Club of Deidesheim-Mittelhaardt, Germany.

“This initiative is absolutely key in ensuring that every mother and child is given the best possible chance in what is the most vulnerable period of their lives.”

‘Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria’ is the second awardee for Rotary’s Programs of Scale grant. The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s charitable arm that assists clubs in collaborating to carry out effective service, will award $2 million to an evidence-based initiative that is in line with one of Rotary’s causes and has the potential to be scaled up to benefit more people.

Rotary is committed to providing mothers and children everywhere with the same opportunities for a healthy future,says Rotary International President Jennifer Jones

Meanwhile, the Nigerian government has committed to ensuring all new mothers and their babies have access to the finest care possible before, during, and following childbirth.

“Rotary has played an integral role in improving maternal and child health outcomes, notably through our collaboration to improve nationwide data collection on maternal and perinatal health incidents – a process critical to saving more lives. We are pleased to continue partnering with Rotary members towards this cause, whose drive and passion are making a great difference in people’s lives in Nigeria and across the world,” said Tinu Tylor, Director of Reproductive Health, Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria.

Rotary members worldwide develop and implement sustainable, community-driven projects that fight disease, promote peace, provide clean water, support education, help mothers and children, grow local economies and protect the environment. As of now, more than US$5.5 billion has been awarded through The Rotary Foundation.

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