To commemorate the 2019 International Women’s day with the theme; Balance for Better, a non-governmental and non-profit organization, Support Towards Advancement, Networking and Development For Women and Children (STAND Foundation) in collaboration with BETH-ZION Ventures, 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.
The project was formally launched at Stand foundation’s Office, General Gas Estate, Ibadan on Friday but distribution of kits according to STAND Foundation, will follow a scheduled time table that will run across selected villages in Oyo state throughout the year.
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.
Speaking at the project launch, the founder of STAND foundation, Barrister Sayofunmi Adeleye, stated that “everyone has a role to play in forging gender parity because gender balance is not a women’s issue but an economic issue. For women to take their position in ensuring a balanced world, they need to have a good health.
“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.
“The World Health Organization reports that every day, approximately 830 women die from preventable pregnancy related and 99% of maternal deaths occur in developing countries. Record also shows that maternal and neo-natal mortality is higher in women living in rural areas. The delivery kits we are distributing will help in achieving part of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which includes reduction in global maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 per 100 000 live births between 2016 and 2030,” she stated.
Barrister Adeleye added that, “While we thank our co-sponsors, Stanza Farms, Iwo; Oduola Global Investments and other well meaning people who couldn’t be here today. We also call on others to partner with us on this project as we will be distributing the delivery kit throughout the year and we will strive to get to as many communities as we can in Oyo state.”
She 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.
Also speaking, the Chief Operating Officer of Beth-Zion Ventures, Yejide Gbenga-Ogundare, said 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? In 2017, we were told to be bold for change while we were told to press for progress during the 2018 celebration of the International Women’s Day.
“And now, in 2019, we have been called to continue to play a critical role in helping forge a more gender-balanced world as we work towards the theme, Balance for Better, this is why we are advocating the eradication of maternal mortality in our rural communities as women there are more susceptible to these deaths. Consequently, we will be going to rural communities from next week to distribute the delivery kits.
“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 neo-natal deaths,” the Beth-Zion executive stated.