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#MaternalMonday: Promoting Civil Rights and Liberties for Improved Maternal Wellbeing

In honor of Nelson Mandela, the United Nations declared 18th July to be recognized as Nelson Mandela International Day to promote his values and dedication to the service of humanity. Hence, today's #MaternalMonday focuses on ‘Promoting Civil Rights and Liberties for Improved Maternal Wellbeing.’

Since most maternal deaths are preventable, maternal mortality and morbidity are also human rights issues according to the United Nations (2009). Human rights are universal, legal guarantees protecting individuals and groups against actions that interfere with fundamental standards of freedom and human dignity.

There are international standards that have been negotiated and accepted by government as binding on them. They provide a legal and ethical framework for government, community and individuals. They set standards to evaluate actions. All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and right. Every person has the right to the highest attainable standards of physical and mental health. They have levels of obligations to respect, protect and fulfill human rights.

Studies have shown that poor women are most affected by poor maternal health, with no empowerment to claim their right to quality maternal health. Transparency and accountability should be ensured by the government of both right holders and duty bearers in planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of any maternal health strategy. At the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), we continue to push for commitments to advance maternal health, within a rights-focused, community-owned, and family-based approach, not just for Nigeria, but for the rest of the world.

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