Message from the founder
When I founded the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) over a decade ago,
I could never have imagined we would have achieved so much, so quickly.
I started WBFA to address endemic challenges within maternal, newborn, and
health, and socio-economic development in sub-Saharan Africa.
Approximately 800 women die per day due to preventable causes related to
pregnancy and childbirth, and 99% of these deaths occur in developing
countries, like Nigeria. Indeed, my advocacy on this issue began after my own
loss during childbirth over twenty years ago, which stemmed from
infrastructural deficiencies within the public health system in Nigeria.
My vision was for WBFA to be able to empower women and children and implement programmes that could save lives.
From our global partnerships that include the United Nation’s Every Woman, Every Child initiative, Johnson & Johnson, and more, to our frontline programmes like the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund, which provides affordable health insurance to 5000 Kwaran residents, each year, we have been able to reach so many mothers and children across Nigeria and the African continent. With empowerment and sharing insights at the core of every single partnership and programme that we take on, WBFA has been able to not only save lives, but also empower communities in the process.
We do this by ensuring our programmes are localised and developed by the communities we work with, for the community as a whole. We engage in conversation with global partners and local partners on an equal level, we engage with organisations in other sectors, and we engage with the very mothers and children we seek to reach. This is why we began the #MaternalMonday campaign in 2012.
For years, WBFA’s #MaternalMonday campaign has been taking Twitter and Facebook by storm. We initially began this social media campaign as a way to get people to dedicate one day a week to maternal health, educate people about health, engage in a global conversation, and work together online and offline to share and instigate solutions. The campaign quickly went viral, with major health bodies and influencers taking part every Monday. We realised that Maternal Monday had become hugely influential amongst communities as an information delivery platform in its own right.
Therefore, I am pleased to announce the launch of the standalone WBFA Maternal Monday website which provides resources for mothers to learn more about their health and the health of their child, as well as campaign materials for people to join the #MaternalMonday conversation on social media each week. Over the coming weeks, the website will become a place for people to share their stories, to showcase their support for maternal health, and to gain more vital health information on topics ranging from which vitamins to take and foods to avoid, to how to overcome any issues related to breastfeeding.
The launch of #MaternalMonday has come at a time when Nigeria is experiencing rapid internet and mobile penetration across the country, with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reporting that there was an increase of 1.32 million users on the GSM and CDMA networks in February 2015, bringing the total number of internet users in Nigeria to 83.4 million people. The new #MaternalMonday digital space will allow us to reach more people, even in remote areas, via a medium that is rapidly growing and evolving.
We want to encourage as many people as possible to take part in the #MaternalMonday conversation. We need your voices to amplify awareness about breastfeeding and MNCH because from within your network, we can reach more communities, more mothers, and more children to make a real and tangible difference in the health of our nation.