On Friday 20 January, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa Founder and wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki visited the 9th Brigade Medical Centre in Lagos, Nigeria, one of many primary healthcare facilities around the nation where the Foundation’s MamaCare Midwives deliver weekly classes to pregnant and postnatal mothers to mark the Armed Forces Remembrance Day 2017.
Mrs Saraki, who was welcomed to the 9th Brigade Centre by its Supervising Matron, Captain Onyeke, Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s Mamacare Advocate Midwife, Eunice Akhigbe, and Garrison Commander Abubakar, paid tribute to Armed Forces families saying: “I am honoured to stand here today before the very people who demonstrate the highest level of honour, courage, sacrifice and dedication to this great country.”
“Nigeria is a country that has known great difficulty, and great conflict. But it is a country that always, always perseveres. Our triumphs are not only our own, but those of all the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces to protect our citizens.
“Despite the insurgency that our country has faced in the Northeast, the Nigerian Armed Forces, with the Federal Government’s support, has remained steadfast in maintaining peace and safety in our country, commendably. We owe these service people a great debt: their valour is what defines them. The resilience they nurture in the community is what unites us.”
Mrs Saraki continued: “We at the Wellbeing Foundation Africa are happy to be able to help the wives and families of uniformed men through their monthly journey from pregnancy to birth and beyond, and we continue to give them a continuum of care and counsel. Through our MamaCare Antenatal Education Classes, which were initiated at this centre since January 2016, we seek to empower these women by providing the highest standard of education to them about their bodies, and their babies. These classes, which are delivered in primary, secondary and tertiary medical facilites across the nation, have been able to deploy skilled midwives at no cost to military families in Lagos and Kwara States, to provide education, support, and confidence about health, from birth to age.
“At present, our MamaCare Midwives reach over 350 military spouses and 1500 citizens each and every week, but we are determined to scale this program across Nigeria for the benefit of civilians and service-members alike.
“Much like the Armed Forces protect and nurture us, it is my hope that the work of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa reassures them, in turn, that their families are safe and secure. To dedicate ourselves to the health needs of these women and children is a small token of our gratitude, but one that we are grateful to give.”
The event started with Mrs Saraki being welcomed by the entire 9th Brigade Centre. She was then introduced to the outgoing Brigade Commander General Sani Mohammed and his wife Mrs Fatima Sani Mohammed, the incoming Brigade Commander General Attu and his wife Mrs Attu, and members of Nigeria Army Officers Wives Association by it’s Supervising Matron, Captain Onyeke. Decorating Mrs Sani Mohammed and Mrs Attu as Mamacare Midwifery Champion Ambassadors, Mrs Saraki commended the Nigeria Army Medical Services for operating an excellent and accessible health system, to the benefit of the 2 million members of armed forces families it serves at the Ikeja Cantonment.
The event was further boosted by the Wellbeing Foundation Africa’s donation of Midwifery Essential Medical Equipment Kits to all 9th Brigade Medical Centre midwives, the Foundation’s flagship personal health records, Mamakit Goodybags personal care items for mothers and newborns, essential pharmaceutical medicines, and bedding materials for the centre’s in-patient maternity and paediatric wards.
The Matron, Captain Onyeke thanked the WBFA Mamacare Midwifery-led Antenatal and Postnatal Education Program for extending it’s respectful maternity care services in providing such unique education experience for pregnant and postnatal mothers, a service she attested was the first of its kind in the 55 year history of the centre, which had dramatically increased antenatal and postnatal attendance, delivering excellent outcomes in making mothers informed health-seeking partners for their wellbeing.
Mrs Saraki who was decorated with an award of appreciation by Mrs Sani Mohammed, wife of the outgoing Brigade Commander, was also given the honour of naming a 7-day old baby boy, delivered by a Mamacare 9th Brigade Classes Mother, whom she prayed for, naming him “Oluwatobiloba – God is infinite in His beneficence”