Brand Ambassador of the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) for maternal health in West and Central Africa, Stephanie Okereke has implored African governments to prioritize maternal health.
Speaking on Pulse on the Joy News channel on Multi TV Friday, she said “maternal health care is at its lowest and that is what we should be looking at”.
Explaining what drives her to supporting this cause, she stated there are many women who die as a result of various maternal health issues.
“I’ve seen a lot of women go through unnecessary maternal health issues” she added. A 2013 United Nations report revealed a total of 289,000 women worldwide died during pregnancy or childbirth. The report said 62% of deaths recorded occurred in sub-Saharan Africa.
The report also said the maternal mortality ratio in developing countries was 230 women per 100,000 births, against 16 women per 100,000 in developed countries.
Desiring a turn around, Stephanie Okereke said she is motivated to lead the campaign to bring about a change.
She explained she saw the opportunity given her by UNFPA as her duty to use the film industry to raise awareness on the various maternal health issues as seen in her movie “Dry”.
Stephanie Okereke said the movie highlights maternal and other health issues that need the attention of Africans.
“We need good health and dedicate ourselves to improving maternal healthcare tremendously in Africa”, she said.
Women must be saved from dying at childbirth, the Nigerian actress said.