Maternal Monday Campaign Launches this World Breastfeeding Week
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa has launched a new site built around their viral #MaternalMonday campaign, as a place for mothers, campaigners, and health workers to receive health information, download campaign materials, and share their insights.
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa, founded by Her Excellency Mrs. Toyin Saraki – the International Confederation of Midwives Global Goodwill Ambassador – began the #MaternalMonday campaign in 2013 as a way to prompt people to dedicate one day a week to maternal health in Nigeria. The campaign quickly took off internationally, with the hashtag being used to educate people about health and engage in global conversation about solutions to the high maternal, newborn, and child mortality indices in Nigeria, and across the African continent.
The launch of #MaternalMonday has come at a time when Nigeria is experiencing rapid internet and mobile penetration across the country, with the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) reporting that there was an increase of 1.32 million users on the GSM and CDMA networks in February 2015, bringing the total number of internet users in Nigeria to 83.4 million people. The new #MaternalMonday digital space will allow WBFA to reach more users, even in remote areas, via a medium that is rapidly growing and evolving.
WBFA Launches #MM Campaign during World Breastfeeding Week
Breastfeeding - long known to prevent malnutrition – could be the very simple, yet radical solution needed to lower infant and maternal mortality rates in Nigeria. However, breastfeeding levels remain woefully low in Nigeria, and only 17% of babies under the age of six months are exclusively breastfed. See the ICM position statement on Breastfeeding.
The #MaternalMonday campaign will enable WBFA to better communicate the benefits of breastfeeding and encourage more women to exclusively breastfeed for at least six months after birth, as well as initiating support for national programmes and policies, which include structured guidelines to help mothers in their choice to breastfeed. Expressing optimism, H.E. Mrs. Toyin Saraki stated, “The #MaternalMonday campaign really resonated with people when we began it in 2013, and I’m overjoyed that we are now launching a separate space that will foster even more conversation, engagement, and solutions to the maternal health crisis facing the African continent.”
To take part in the conversation, use the #MaternalMonday hashtag or head to the Maternal Monday website