The MTN Foundation, in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and other healthcare agencies, has launched the Yellow Heart Campaign, an initiative which aligns with global efforts to meet the Sustainable Development Goals’ health targets and the global strategy for women and children’s health.
The campaign, which is designed to reduce maternal and child mortality by increasing the levels of awareness and perception of the phenomenon in our country and galvanizing action to support ongoing efforts, was launched at an event in Abuja on Thursday, October 26th, 2017.
Commenting on the importance and rationale for this initiative, Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole said “The health of women and children is of paramount importance to the development of any society and this is why the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Health, has set up a task force specifically designed to stem maternal and infant mortality rates in the country. The partnership with MTN Foundation, through the Yellow Heart Initiative will further accelerate the progress already being recorded by the task force.”
“I commend the MTN Foundation for birthing this initiative and for also improving the quality of life of various Nigerian communities through their numerous interventions.” He concluded.
Also commenting on MTN’s decision to support the Federal Ministry of Health on this initiative, Executive Secretary, MTN Foundation, Nonny Ugboma said “most deaths of mothers and children in our communities can be prevented using existing knowledge, and proven cost-effective interventions.”
This is a global problem; according to UN reports, since 1990, maternal deaths have dropped by 45 percent, however every single day in 2016 about 800 women died from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In the same year, 15,000 children died before their fifth birthday, 46% of them (7,000 babies) died in the first 28 days of life. The main causes were preventable and treatable.
Sadly, despite multiple interventions by the public and private sectors, Nigeria remains one of the largest contributors to global maternal and child mortality rates.
“These are our loved ones, family, friends, colleagues, acquaintances, and a new generation needlessly lost; leaving behind unfulfilled hopes and broken dreams” Ugboma added, “we must do better, together.”
With this commitment, the Foundation has partnered with the Ministry of Health on multiple projects related to this cause. This includes the Maternal Ward Support project which has facilitated the renovation of 24 maternal wards across the country, and the ‘Y’ello Doctor’ project which has seen Mobile clinics supporting the medical needs of mothers and children commissioned in six states.