During the global launch of the Lancet ‘Ending Preventable Stillbirths’ Series on Tuesday, Mrs Toyin Saraki made a pertinent call. She asked that the stigma that comes with stillbirth be done away with. According to her, this stigma has caused great emotional damage in the life of women who are suffering from this type of loss.
She also shared some shocking statistics about stillbirth:
• Stillbirths account for almost 2.6 million deaths annually worldwide
• 75% of these deaths take place in sub-Saharan African and South Asia.
• Nigeria has the world’s second highest estimated stillbirth rate, with 42.9 stillbirths per 1,000 total births.
• With a 1.3% annual rate of progress in reducing stillbirths between years 2000 and 2015, Nigeria ranks 123rd of 159 in the world for progress on stillbirths reduction.
Toyin Saraki also shared her experience losing one of her twins:
“I was fighting for one life and completely bewildered how to mourn the other life…People did not know whether to congratulate or commiserate with me. Stillbirths often go unrecorded, let alone lead to counselling. This is why I started the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, which works to improve reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health across the continent.”
Mrs. Toyin Saraki is the Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa.