Saturday, 29 August 2020

Governors' Wives Who Are Medical Doctors: What They Are Doing To Assist Husbands

Wives of Cross River, Niger, Kebbi and Lagos States’ governors are medical doctors by profession. In this report, ABU NMODU, Minna; GEORGE OKOGIE, Lagos; RICHARD NDOMA, Calabar; and KABIR WURMA, Birnin Kebbi, tell their stories on what they are doing to assist their husband-governors in fixing the health sector and others in thier respective states.

Niger: Dr. Amina Abubakar

Wife of Niger State governor, Dr. Amina Abubakar Sani-Bello is a Gynaecologist and an Obstetrician. She graduated from Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria.

She was into private practice before her husband won election in 2015 as the governor of Niger State and when he assumed office, she volunteered to work at a section of Minna General Hospital.

According to her, “I go to work three times a week or less depending on what my other responsibilities demand of me. Before my husband became governor, I have had the burden of how to reduce maternal and child mortality in the country no matter how small.”

She added that when her husband became governor, “I found this as an avenue to assist him in that area. I have been able to do a few things around maternal mortality.”

Some of her contributions include the provision of free delivery kits to 1,318 pregnant women in the 25 local government areas of the state to encourage them during antenatal and to ensure they have their babies at primary health care centers close to them.

It was so because of complaints of their inability to provide the basic childbirth requirments in the hospital, hence women give birth at home which has led to many complications and even death.

“I have provided 12 improvised tricycle ambulances which have been distributed to the three senatorial zones in the state to assist in conveying pregnant women to any primary health care center near them,” Dr. Amina said.

She has carried out free VVF surgeries for 326 women who had the challenge as a result of childbirth.

She also trains women in different skills to enable them take care of themselves and be self-reliant.

Similarly she has conducted sensitizations and pay advocacy visits to traditional rulers in all the eight Emirates in the state to encourage their people to attend anteatal and delivery in hospitals.

Also, in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19, she produced sensitization video and audio clips in English and Hausa languages to educate the people on the dangers of the disease and how to protect themselves and their families.

She is doing all the advocacies through her pet project called Raise Foundation. The Foundation is particularly to ensure that no woman dies of pregnancy-related complications.

Through her Foundation, she has made tremendous contributions to all levels of healthcare delivery in the state apart from offering free services at the Minna General Hospital.

Dr. Amina Sani-Bello has by her knowledge of the health sector attracted collaborations and partnerships, which has further enhanced healthcare delivery in Niger state.

Cross River: Dr. Linda Ayade

Dr. Linda Ayade is the wife of the governor of Cross River State. To start with, she was solidly behind her husband, Governor Ben Ayade, throughout the period when the state government launched the fight against the spread of COVID-19.

She ensured several persons with no financial wherewithal particularly within the hinterlands of the state get succour, through the palliatives given to some persons in rural communities.

Dr. Linda also embarked sensitisation of market women on the adherence of COVID-19 protocols in order to avoid further spread.

Through her pet project, Mediatrix Development Foundation (MDF), which is an NGO, one of its cardinal objectives is focusing on a fundemental principle of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of ‘leaving no one behind’ with regards to health challenges.

MDF is a health-focused organisation with activities revolving majorly around health interventions and health promotion targeting in particular the less privileged and vulnerable in the society – with a focus on women and children.

Apart from using her Foundation to embark sensitisation of market women and the less-privileged on how to manage themselves in the era of COVID-19, and donation of palliatives to this category of persons, the First Lady also donated items which include hand washing soaps, hand sanitizers and face masks to the people.

She also supported in the upgrading of the health facilities in the refugees camp in Ogoja LGA of the state.

According to her citation made available to LEADERSHIP Friday by her media officer, it shows that Dr. Linda Ugianugwuye Ayade holds MBBS, MPA, with MBA in International Health Management in view.

Linda as she is fondly called by friends and associates was born in the early 1970s in her native hometown of Obudu LGA of the state.

She had her early education partly in Cross River and Enugu States before proceeding to the University of Port Harcourt where she obtained her MBBS degree.

She belongs associations like the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and the General Medical Council, United Kingdom where she underwent rigorous training in both clinical and public health practice.

She is currently engrossed with the running of her pet projects – the Mediatrix Development Foundation and the Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI).

Her organization, Mediatrix Foundation, has been working closely with major international bodies like the UNFPA, UNICAF, United Purpose and others.

Recently her NGO Mediatrix Foundation started new partnership with the UNHCR for a livelihood project for the Cameroonian Refugees who fled to Cross River state for safety following the Anglophone-Francophone crisis in their country.

Other activities which Ayade’s wife had involved herself since her husband came on board as Governor of the state include her involvement in programmes that alleviate poverty and economic emancipation for women and children in the state.

She also formed a group called Cross River Women Emancipation Initiative (CROWEI), which later metamorphosed to another NGO with its main focus on raising the economic index of rural women thereby improving their overall living conditions.

As one who is interested in making life meaningful to rural women, through her NGOs she engaged herself in the rural women livelihood empowerment for small businesses and improved crop yield.

She is working tirelessly to ensure a wider coverage of this feat across the state.


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