Wife of the Senate President, Mrs Toyin Saraki has advocated for better health and gender data collection to allow families and health professionals track the progress of a pregnancy, register birth and record immunisation and health information.
Mrs Saraki, who is the founder and president of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa (WBFA), made the advocacy in a keynote address she delivered at the Cambridge-Africa day hosted by the University of Cambridge, Emmanuel College, United Kingdom.
She noted that “there must be data revolution in Africa to give us an accurate indication of who, what and where our attention is needed. Partnerships and collaborations between the UK and African institutions – such as the University of Cambridge – can and will provide the key that Africa needs to unlock its potential.”
“I believe that research should serve the dual effect of informing academia and policy, as well as providing data and tools that build capacity that transform knowledge acquired by research into tangible action and results.”
The WBFA, according to her, has been committed to research, policy and data since its inception in 2004, adding that “the organisation’s premier partnership with Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine and Johnson and Johnson delivers the MamaCare Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care Skills and Drills training programme for accredited further education to midwives.
“As one of three MamaCare educational programme, including the antenatal education programme and the soon-to-launch Adolescent Skills & Drills Personal Social and Health Education Curriculum, the Emergency Obstetric and Newborn training programme has continued to train some 320 midwives in Nigeria.
“To date, no MamaCare midwife has recorded maternal or newborn death since receiving this life-saving and life-giving up-skilling training.”
While appreciating the University of Cambridge for recognising the necessity of education to achieve the goal, Mrs Saraki said “academia and knowledge transformation is a wholly worthy cause, adding that, “however, what is of greater interest to the WBFA is how academic research trickles down to affect individuals at a community level.”