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Rotary Foundation donates $2m to address maternal, infant mortality in Nigeria

Rotary Foundation donates $2m to address maternal, infant mortality in Nigeria
January 31
13:37 2023

Rotary Foundation says it has awarded $2 million to “Together for healthy families in Nigeria”, a rotary-led initiative to reduce maternal and child mortality rates by 25 percent.

The foundation said in a statement on Monday that over 1.5 million people in local areas would benefit from the donation.

The Nigerian and German Rotary members and the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal, and Child Health (RMCH) in partnership with the federal ministry of health are behind the initiative.

The initiative, the foundation said, is focused on enabling accessible and quality health care and family planning services to improve the lives of a mother and her infant.


“Nigeria accounts for 23 percent of maternal deaths and 12 percent of neonatal deaths worldwide, as women and infants continue to face risks during pregnancy, birth, and the first years of life. Inadequate health services, together with the COVID-19 pandemic, have compounded the situation in the country,” the statement reads.

“Together for healthy families in Nigeria was awarded $2 million by the Rotary Foundation and aims to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in targeted local government areas by 25 percent. 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 about maternal and neonatal deaths so that interventions can be tailored to specific needs.”


Speaking on fostering maternal and child health, Emmanuel Lufadeju, national coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Ibadan-Jericho Metro, said enhancing access to life-saving services would prevent mortality rate.

“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,” Lufadeju said.

“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.”

Commenting on the impact of maternal mortality, John Townsend, chair of the Rotary Action Group for reproductive, maternal, and child health, said “If a woman dies or is seriously disabled, the entire family is affected”.


“This is about changing the way societies and health systems address the fundamental needs of women, which is important because they are the drivers of family and development.

“The program builds on the comprehensive work that Rotary has done in eradicating polio in Nigeria, which developed a sense of trust and a sense of scale.

“Polio needs to be viewed from a national, regional, and global perspective, and maternal health certainly weighs in on that. Rotary in Nigeria is particularly well-placed to improve mother and child health. There are clubs throughout the country with influential members and an increasing number of women in leadership, who are committed to making a difference for society.”

Tinu Taylor, director of reproductive health, federal ministry of health, said the government is committed to providing mothers and infants with quality healthcare services in Nigeria.


“The government of Nigeria is committed to ensuring that all mothers and their newborns have access to the best care possible – before, during, and after birth,” Taylor said.

“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.”



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