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Toyin Saraki opens up in emotional BBC interview: I was fighting for one life and bewildered how to mourn the other life.
Published: 19 January 2016, 22:03 UK - Content distribution by Sync MEDIA HOUSE

Mrs. Saraki, who tragically lost one of her twins due to failures in the Nigerian public health care system, stated, “I was fighting for one life and bewildered how to mourn the other life...People did not know whether to congratulate or commiserate with me.”

Sharing with the BBC, the WBFA Founder further stated, “stillbirths often go unrecorded, let alone lead to counselling. This is why I started the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, which works to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health across the continent.”

Full press release below.

Listen to the interview:
https://soundcloud.com/bbcafrica/majority-of-still-births-occur-in-africa-but-how-does-a-mother-deal-with-the-loss

Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder Shares Personal Stillbirth Experience with British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

In a move to create awareness of the direct and indirect costs of stillbirths, Her Excellency Mrs. ToyinSaraki, Founder-President of the leading maternal health NGO - Wellbeing Foundation Africa, today (19th January 2016) spoke with the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) to call for improvements in health education and access to primary healthcare – key elements to reducing stillbirths around the world.

Currently, Nigeria has the second highest estimated stillbirth rate, with more than 300,000 stillbirths in 2015 – of which more than half occurred during labour and birth.Speaking to BBC Focus On AfricaRadio Correspondent AkwasiSarpong, Mrs. ToyinSaraki shared her personal birth story while discussing how it inspired her efforts, through the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, to end stillbirths. Mrs. Saraki, who tragically lost one of her twins due to failures in the Nigerian public health care system, stated, “I was fighting for one life and bewildered how to mourn the other life… People did not know whether to congratulate or commiserate with me.” Her interview began at 13.00, listen to the interview on Sound Cloud BBC Focus Africa http://bit.ly/1ZKkVsn.

According to Mrs.Saraki, this experience informed her decision to co-author the third report in the Lancet‘Ending Preventable Stillbirths’ Series launched on 19th January 2015, titled Stillbirths: economic and psychosocial consequences.In this report, Mrs. Saraki and WBFA provided a unique perspective on stillbirths in sub-Saharan Africa; sharing interventions such as the WBFA Personal Health Records, the Foundation’s emergency obstetric and newborn care training with Johnson & Johnson and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, and their work on Respectful Maternity Care for new and expectant mothers.

Sharing with the BBC, the WBFA Founder further stated, “stillbirths often go unrecorded, let alone lead to counselling. This is why I started the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, which works to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health across the continent.”

In a subsequent BBC World Impact interview with presenter Philippa Thomas, ToyinSarakialso discussed the stigma tied to stillbirth, speaking of the need to bring awareness to this issue and share stories as according to studies, 4% of care providers in low- and middle-income countries attributed stillbirth to a mother’s fault, 12% agreed that parents should not talk about their stillborn baby, and only 19% agreed that a death before birth is the same as a death of a child. She pointed to progress made by Rwanda on reducing stillbirth rates as a way forward for Nigeria and the world.

Following this interview, Mrs. Saraki also participated in a short section for BBC Hausa and BBC Online where she shared what women should do during pregnancy to prevent stillbirths, sharing information on monitoring pregnancy and measures that can be taken to save newborns.

In her interview with Sophie Ikenye of BBC Focus on Africa TV, due to be shown at 5.30pm (GMT) on 19/11/16 on BBC World, MrsSaraki lamented the current rate of progress, it will be more than 160 years before a pregnant woman in Africa has the same chance of her baby being born alive as a woman in a high-income country today. She spoke about the Wellbeing Foundation’s work to leapfrog progess to ensure that the lottery of one’s birth location does not affect one’s survival – in every country.

In addition to leading the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs. ToyinSaraki is theNewborn Champion for Save the Children Nigeria, the Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwifes, the Grand Patron of White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria, the Champion for White Ribbon Alliance Global, and the Wife of the Nigeria Senate President.

Signed: Communications
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa
Email: communications@wellbeingfoundationnig.org
Web: www.wbfafrica.org



NOTES:
About the Wellbeing Foundation Africa:
For over a decade, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA) founded by Her Excellency ToyinSaraki has led global efforts to reduce Nigeria’s unacceptably high maternal, newborn, and child mortality indices. Through collaboration and consultation with local, national, and international partners, WBFA has developed innovative solutions that have been adopted into the very frontline of the Nigerian health system.

These solutions include the copyrighted and trademarked WBFA Integrated Maternal, Newborn, and Child Personal Health Records, WBFA Universal Maternal And Child Health Notes and Record Books, the WBFA Clean Birth MamaKit, the WBFA BabyKit and BabyKitBox, WBFA EMONC Skills And Drills Training, #MaternalMonday Demand Creation for Birth-Preparedness, WBFA Baby-Friendly Breastfeeding Manual, WBFA Antenatal Education Curriculum, and Inclusive Access to Health Insurance Capacitation Grants.

As partners to the United Nations Every Woman, Every Child initiative since 2011 at the invitation of UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, WBFA has consistently worked to bring global best practice innovations back home to Nigeria including the Alaafia Universal Health Coverage Fund, which provides health insurance for 5000 Kwaran residents annually, and the recent partnership with the Johnson and Johnson and the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine to provide ‘skills and drills’ emergency obstetric and newborn care training for health-workers in Kwara State.

The WBFA’s work as a non-governmental civil society organisation has been recognised globally by the United Nations, as demonstrated by the awarding of special consultative status to the UN Economic and Social Affairs Council, and by it's being conferred with prestigious Board Observer status at the WHO Partnership For Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PMNCH), while the WBFA also led Nigeria Health CSO's recent Position Paper on Health, presented to The Presidential Transition Committee.

Strategic partnerships are central to the work of the Foundation and through the Founder President’s roles as inaugural Global Goodwill Ambassador for the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM), the Save the Children (Nigeria) National Newborn Champion, and the Chair of the Board of the White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria (WRAN), WBFA works to achieve shared goals of improving maternal and child health.

Former United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Policy Coordination and Strategic Planning, Dr. Robert C. Orr has previously commended the Wellbeing Foundation for its life-saving interventions, writing “African philanthropy for women's and children's health is something that could catalyse much needed resources toward the issues that you have championed for nearly a decade in Nigeria, including the Personal Health Record (PHR) of Nigeria.”

The Wellbeing Foundation Africa does not solicit nor accept general donations. For partnership opportunities, or to support our advocacy and actions, please visit www.wbfafrica.org or contact globaloffice@wbfafrica.org.

For social enterprise enquiries regarding our tools and resources, please visit www.wbuhealth.com or contact globaloffice@wbuhealth.com
Toyin Saraki Interviewed by Philppa Thomas BBC World ImpactToyin Saraki BBC Focus on Africa Radio Interview with Akwasi SarpongToyin Saraki being interviewed for BBC HausaToyin Saraki Interviewed by Sophie Ikeyne BBC Focus on Africa TV

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