According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), a Nigerian woman has a 1 in 22 lifetime risk of dying during pregnancy, childbirth or postpartum/post-abortion; whereas in the most developed countries, the lifetime risk is 1 in 4900.
A joint report by WHO, UNICEF, World Bank and United Nations Population Fund estimates that Nigeria has approximately 58,000 maternal deaths, accounting for 19% globally. Put differently, at least 800 women die in every 100,000 live births. By comparison, the total number of maternal deaths in 2015 in the 46 most developed countries was 1700.
Our #BellaNaijaWCW this week Tolu Adeleke, is out to change that through health education, advocacy, empowering and supporting expectant couples as they transition to parenthood.
Tolu is the founder of Tolu The Midwife Healthcare Solutions and CEO, Maternity Hub. She created Tolu The Midwife to serve as a platform to deliver health education to all pregnant women and their families in a bid to reduce maternal and neonatal mortality in Nigeria.
Tolu is a dual certified Nurse and Midwife with over ten years nursing and midwifery experience from hospitals in England and Guernsey. She has cared for and delivered over 1000 mothers and babies.
While still working in England, Tolu visited Nigeria often because she always wanted to move back. During one of these visits, she read an article about the atrocious maternal and neonatal mortality rates. She instantly became obsessed. She struggled to understand why so many women die just because they are having a baby. Upon further research, she discovered many women lack basic evidence-based health education. As a result, she created Tolu the Midwife to fill this gap, with the hopes of saving mothers, babies, and communities.
Prior to relocating to Nigeria, Tolu completed an MSc in Healthcare Management and worked with the University College, London (Department of Nutrition) as a (Band 8) Research Midwife studying breastmilk, the nutrients within and factors which affect and contribute to mothers achieving their breastfeeding goals.
Tolu has a B.Sc in Registered Nursing from Middlesex University and another in Midwifery from the University of Hertfordshire.
In a bid to provide holistic care and support, Tolu also started antenatal classes just for men, #DadsAntenatalNg. Also, upon her return to Nigeria, Tolu was shocked and heartbroken to discover new mothers in Nigeria barely have any professional postnatal support, she decided to host a postnatal support group – Mums & Bubs Brunch.
In 2019, Tolu won the Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award for Nursing and Midwifery Excellence.
We celebrate Tolu for her contribution to reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in Nigeria through her holistic system and we are rooting for her!