Succour has come the way of pregnant indigent women in rural communities of Lagelu, Akinyele and Ido Local Government Areas of Oyo state as a foundation as part of efforts to tackle mortality rate and neo natal death and in commemoration of the 2019 International Women’s Day celebration, launched a free delivery kit to be distributed to them to ensure safe delivery.
To commemorate the 2019 International Women’s day with the theme; Balance for Better, the Support Towards Advancement, Networking and Development For Women and Children (STAND Foundation), a non-governmental and non-profit organization, in collaboration with Beth-Zion Ventures, a development and consultancy firm, has launched a project known as the STAND clean delivery kit to support the advancement and development of women and children in terms of health.
Speaking at the event, the founder of STAND foundation, Barrister Olusayofunmi Adeleye revealed that the idea was conceived based on the alarming statistics on the high rate of mortality, adding that everyone has a role to play in forging gender parity because gender balance is not a women’s issue but an economic issue and for women to take their position in ensuring a balanced world, they need to have a good health.
She noted that natural reproductive process for women is now an altar of sacrifice for millions of women and children due to limited or no access to medical facility, noting that, “it is quite sad that the natural function of reproduction, bestowed upon woman by nature, has turned out to be an altar on which millions of women and children have been and still being sacrificed ‘ she stated
She revealed that unfortunate situation is the catalyst which prompted STAND Foundation to respond with the STAND Delivery kits and an aggressive distribution that will be accompanied with training on how to effectively use the kits and stressed that the kits was packaged with the assistance and donation of kind hearted donors and consist of equipment that will ease as well as reduce infection during delivery.
“We have identified that maternal mortality is a major issue for women and many have issues because they cannot afford delivery kits especially those living in the rural areas. We will be distributing kits to pregnant women as part of our effort towards reducing maternal and neo-natal mortality rate especially in areas where there is little or no access to basic medical facilities,’ she said.
Barrister Adeleye explained that while the project will be sustained beyond 2019, reiterating STAND Foundation will embark on other programmes that touch on issues of life in the course of the year and called on well meaning individuals, philanthropists and corporate organization to partner the organization for wider coverage and saving more lives.
Unveiling the kits, the Chairman of Akinyele South Local Council Development Area, Honourable Olumide Alli, whose local government is part of the beneficiaries appreciated the initiator’s idea as timely with the health development that is going on his local government.
“We are putting efforts in primary health care facilities in my local government and her initiative would be useful in saving lives,” he stated, promising to be part of the initiative as well as partnering the organisation for a medical outreach in his local government.
Also speaking, the Chief Operating Officer of Beth-Zion Ventures, Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare, stated that the healthcare delivery in the country cannot be left to the government especially when the peculiarities of rural areas are put into consideration, adding that to fill the vacuum between the needs and government’s ability, organizations like STAND foundation is needed.
According to her, the project was initiated based on the belief that a balanced world is a better world and there can never be a gender-balanced world if women do not have good health, adding that, many societies have moved from women having pregnancy related issues to women succeeding in a man’s world as stereotypes are being challenged and more diverse representation of women is seen.
She however added that there is a lot to do especially in a developing nation like Nigeria since there is a continuous need for a more progressive mindset and inclusive behaviours for women’s equality and a continuous effort to make positive gains.
“We are moving to a very exciting time in history where the world now expects gender balance and parity but if women continue to suffer from avoidable diseases and lose their lives unnecessarily, what is the essence of the economic advancement they now enjoy? “We will be going to communities like Kufi, Adeyipo and Jagun Aba Oje among other villages in Igbo Elerin district of Lagelu Local Government Area. We will also get to some communities in Akinyele Local Government Area and Akufo in Ido Local Government Area. We have visited these villages and identified them as core areas where the kits will help save lives. By next year’s International Women’s day, we will assess how far we have gone and what else we can do to reduce maternal and neonatal deaths,” the Beth-Zion executive stated.
She called for a reorientation in the family and collaboration to achieve a safe space for women and gender equality.