Her Excellency Mrs Toyin Ojora Saraki this week chaired a panel on “Accountability and Human Development”, as a Guest of Honour, at the Nigeria Governors Forum Induction Summit for Spouses of Governors and Governors-Elect.
Ahead of International Day of the Midwife, which is marked on 5th May, Mrs Saraki – who is the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives, representing 500,000 midwives, in 132 associations across 113 countries – highlighted the importance of midwives as defenders of women’s rights.
Mrs Saraki, who drew upon her experience as First Lady of Kwara State from 2003 to 2011, also focused her remarks on reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH), nutrition, Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC), and the water, sanitation and hygiene programs of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, of which she is the Founder-President.
Mrs Saraki further commented:
“I was delighted this week to chair a panel, “Accountability and Human Development”, as a Guest of Honour, at the Nigeria Governors Forum Induction Summit for Spouses of Governors and Governors-Elect, at the kind invitation of His Excellency Alhaji Abdul-Aziz Yari, Governor of Zamfara State and Chairman, Nigeria Governors Forum, at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja, Nigeria.”
“I was pleased to introduce UN Women, The ONE Campaign, BudgIT, CODE, and the Health Sector Reform Coalition to the Spouses of the Governors and Governors-Elect, in advocating for the principles of Accountability and Human Development, regarding universal health coverage, the basic health care provision fund, education, gender affirmative policies and child rights, all of which flow from comprehensive civil registrations and vital statistics.”
“I commend the Nigeria Governors Forum for pioneering this laudable initiative”.
“In sharing the evolution and progress of my Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s programs to raise the quality and accessibility of maternal and child health care, nutrition, civil registrations and vital statistics in Nigeria, I also also highlighted the important role of midwives in Nigeria and around the world. Women and girls have the right to live safe from harm, violence, discrimination and abuse. As community leaders and interlocutors, midwives are best placed to foster safe environments including, but also beyond, pregnancy, birth and breastfeeding. In a year when midwives have been killed and threatened for carrying out their duties, I paid tribute to those who we have lost and reiterate our core belief that we need more midwives to provide a quality continuum and care and counsel, and our midwives need safe and enabling environments to work in and the right to provide care across their full scope of practice, with the right training, remuneration and support.”
The Governors Spouses Summit, chaired by Hajia Asmau Yari, wife of the Zamfara State Governor and Chair of Nigeria Governors Forum, was also attended by Guests of Honour, Their Excellencies the Wife of the President, Hajiya Aisha Muhammadu Buhari, Former First Ladies Hajiya Turai Yar-Adua, Professor Mrs Uche Azikiwe, Wife of Former Vice-President Hajiya Amina Namadi Sambo, and Honorable Dorothy McAuliffe, Former First Lady of Virginia State, USA, alongside several global development agencies and partners.
Mrs Saraki is also Special Adviser to the Independent Advisory Group to the World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa and was named by Devex as a global ‘Health for All Champion.’ The Wellbeing Foundation Africa is a member of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) of the United Nations.