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mothers and children – How to save them?

I am in Abuja to work with the Save the Children team on our campaign to cut child mortality. Charity Ibeawuchi,  my colleague in Nigeria,  described the current high maternal, newborn and child mortality as a “silent epidemic”. The challenge is how we do more ourselves to save lives but also make this issue one of the most important concerns across the country.

As I travel round Abuja I see 20 ft high adverts with the footballer Kanu promoting GLO mobile phones. Texting and mobiles are big business and my mind already starts to race with ideas about how we can work with mobile phone companies and texts to help communicate the campaign and work with celebrities to highlight the issues.  Nigeria has a vibrant celebrity culture that could easily be tapped for role models and ambassadors.

This is an immense country where a million children die each year due to mostly preventable causes like pneumonia, diarrhoea and malaria and 1 in 10 mothers die in child birth. We will not cut child mortality without also cutting maternal mortality and tackling malnutrition.  The First lady of Nigeria was in the UK last week attending a major conference on how to reduce the number of mothers dying. How can we seize on this momentum and support her steps forward? It is very good news that people working on child and maternal health are working together rather than separately.

By the way, if you want fast wireless connection in Abuja then stay at the Peace Haven hotel. Sadly, I am at The Reiz

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