MamaYe is a campaign to ensure maternal and newborn survival.
Evidence for Action (E4A), a programme which aims to improve maternal and newborn survival in six sub-Saharan countries, Wednesday, announced the launch of one of its maternal and newborn health, MNH, campaigns, MamaYe, in Kano.
The campaign, which was previously launched in Abuja, and in five other sub- Saharan African countries, is focused on making a life-saving change for mothers and babies in Nigeria by engaging the media on the use of existing evidence, to inspire people who work in the area of MNH.
In a statement on Wednesday by E4A’s Communication Specialist, Morooph Babaranti, the organisation stated that the essence of the launch was to intensify public action for maternal and newborn survival.
Mr. Babaranti said the need to launch MamaYe in Kano arose when in 2008, the Kano State Health Service Management Board estimated that the state maternal mortality ratio was 1,600 deaths/100,000 live births, three times the national average. This, he pointed out, was seven years after the state had started free maternal and child health policy (in 2001), the first state to do so in Nigeria.
He also recalled that in the same year, 56 per cent of women reported, in a survey, that they faced a serious problem of not getting money to access care.
He noted that, even as Kano State had taken many commendable steps in saving the lives of pregnant mothers and newborns, there were still many more challenges. He listed inadequate manpower, poor infrastructure, deficient blood supply and blood banks, essential drugs stock-outs and poor staff remuneration as some of these challenges.
He, however, revealed that MamaYe had already started action to help improve maternal and newborn health in the state, adding that the campaign had been commended by the state Commissioner for Health, Abubakar Labaran, for utilising existing data to advocate for improved accountability, planning and decision-making in the health sector.
Mr. Babaranti said the campaign was also using the launch as an opportunity to celebrate outstanding midwives and other health workers, activists, policy makers, organisations and individuals who were taking various actions to improve maternal and newborn health and save lives of pregnant women and their newborns.
“Everyone is encouraged to join MamaYe, take action and make a life-saving change for mothers and babies. Together we are MamaYe,” he said
The Regional coordinator for MamaYe campaign in Northern Nigeria, Aminu Magashi, quoted in the same missive, said the state had also witnessed an increase in the improvement of MNH.
“More mothers and babies in Kano are surviving pregnancy and childbirth than ever before, but as the shocking survey shows, so much more still needs to be done by all stakeholders, not just the Ministry or the government or the UN,” Mr. Magashi said
He expressed optimism that change was possible if everyone became involved in the promotion of MNH.
“We know change is possible. We know how to save the lives of mothers and newborns. But, first, Nigerians need to get involved and take action. Whether you are a taxi driver who can help take mothers to their local clinic; a girl training to be a midwife or a young man encouraging your sister to attend her antenatal clinic, you, too, can save a life,” he said.