Dr. Bosede Afolabi is the Founder of the Maternal And Reproductive Health Research Collective, a not-for-profit organization that seeks to reduce maternal mortality in Nigeria through advocacy, research, and community outreach programs.
She is an associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, where she consults on sickle-cell pregnancy.
With a degree at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr. Afolabi moved to the UK to further her studies and gain work experience.
She decided to return to Nigeria and use her knowledge to cut maternal mortality in Nigeria, having studied the disease and how it affects pregnant women and their babies.
In a chat with CNN, Dr. Afolabi explained that Nigeria has the highest number of people suffering from a sickle-cell disease in the world and very few people are doing research in pregnancy in SS women.
According to her, her work is adding to the body of knowledge that exists, especially since physiological research in pregnancy is not very common.
Dr. Afolabi’s work can be frustrating sometimes because of electricity problems, but what makes it fulfilling is that she is saving so many lives.
Dr. Afolabi says she’s driven by her passion for making pregnancy safer and reduce the stress that women go through while pregnant.
We know now that one of the ways we can reduce maternal mortality effectively is by having women deliver in healthcare institutions or at least with skilled healthcare.
I would really love the incidents of maternal mortality in my country to be so much more reduced than it is now.
Because of my work with women with sickle-cell and pregnancy, I would like to get to a stage where not only would it be that the mortality in pregnancy is zero … I’d also like to try to find out how to improve the perinatal health as well, the health of their babies so that they would have larger babies and not have so much of mortality.
That is a tough call … to change that around is a feat but I plan to continue to work on it for as long as I can.