In late June, 2012, Nigerian President Jonathan Goodluck mentioned his nation’s rapid population growth as a bona-fide cause for concern and was roundly criticized for doing so. With those dynamics in mind, the blog post directly below is especially pleasing to read. It is from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation blog, Impatient Optimists, and honors Goodluck’s leadership on the important population-related issues of maternal and infant mortality.
Nigeria Takes Huge Step to Save Women’s and Children’s Lives
Monica Kerrigan, October 25, 2012
Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan leadership is making a tremendous difference in reducing maternal and child mortality not only in Nigeria but across the globe. He has stepped up to the global challenge by co-chairing the United Nations Commission on Life Saving Commodities for Women and Children. Last week he invited 8 countries to Nigeria to discuss their action plans and he is engaged in the review of the implementation plans.
Along with providing global leadership he decided that it was time to stand up Nigeria and vocally and visibly increase awareness of the persistent problem of maternal and child mortality. He and top leaders from Nigeria launched the Saving One Million Lives by 2015 to prevent deaths of mothers and children from preventable diseases and complications of pregnancy.
Many of us who were fortunate to attend the launch were deeply moved by his passion and personal story. The President’s commitment to saving the lives of vulnerable women and children is anchored in his own personal experience. He shared that his mother had nine children during her life, but only two survived-he and his younger sister. He poignantly stated that he wished he had known the faces of his other siblings that died too young of preventable diseases and he dreams of a world that is much different and allows children to grow up healthy.
We all have been to plenty of meetings, but this one was different for me. I was not only touched by the President’s testimony, but also his bold vision to improve reproductive, maternal and child health by: increasing the country’s financial resources to improve health outcomes for the poor; expanding support for midwives and community health workers to they have the “know how” to save lives; and by providing his personal leadership to monitor progress and follow up when problems arise. His leadership is making a difference galvanizing and energizing the Ministry of Health, private sector, faith based organizations and civil society-and he is calling on each of the partners to work together to be change agents.
To read the full post, please click here: http://www.impatientoptimists.org/Posts/2012/10/Nigeria-Takes-Huge-Step-to-Save-Womens-and-Childrens-Lives
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