The Rotary Foundation has awarded $2 million to its ‘Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria’ initiative to help address the high maternal and infant mortality rates in the country.
‘Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria’ project was initiated by Nigerian and German Rotary members and the Rotary Action Group for Reproductive, Maternal and Child Health (RMCH) in partnership with the Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health.
It is geared towards improving access to life-saving quality healthcare and tailored family planning services.
The grant is aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in targeted local government areas by 25 per cent.
“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 with regard to maternal and neonatal deaths so that interventions can be tailored to specific needs,” the RMCH said.
Speaking during a news briefing on the grant yesterday in Abuja, Professor Emmanuel Adedolapo Lufadeju, National Coordinator and member of the Rotary Club of Ibadan-Jericho Metro, who spearheaded the programme more than two decades ago, said 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.
He said, “Applying our experiences and the lessons learnt 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”.
Jan-Peter Sander, programme lead in Germany and member of the Rotary Club of Deidesheim-Mittelhaardt, Germany said, “Each pregnancy magnifies the mother’s health risks, especially when she doesn’t have access to proper care.
“This initiative is absolutely key in ensuring that every mother and child is given the best possible chance in what is the most vulnerable period of their lives.”
‘Together for Healthy Families in Nigeria’ is the second awardee for Rotary’s programmes of scale grant.
In an annual competitive grant process, The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s philanthropic arm that helps clubs work together to perform meaningful and impactful service, will award $2 million to an evidence-based programme that aligns with one of Rotary’s causes and has the capability of scaling up to help more people.