460 days to go...
Tick tock. Tick tock. Tick tock.
The clock is really ticking loudly as we slowly but surely move towards the end of 2014. It constantly reminds me that 2015 is so so near and raises so many questions in my heart...
500 460 days left to hold the world to account for the promise to end preventable child and maternal deaths.
But, how many lives can we possibly save in 460 days?
What impact can we possibly make?
What if there is a total eradication of poverty? #MDG1
What if education ceases being a luxury? #MDG2
What if we really get every pregnant woman into the hospital for prenatal and postnatal care?
What if every pregnant woman and children under the age of 5 have free access to medical care regardless of geographical location?
What if every child have access to free immunization?
What if the corruption factor is eliminated from the equation so that allocated funds are judiciously expended?
What if there is total commitment of all the key players involved?
What if the available infrastructure is maximized to fully take care of our mothers and children?
What if there are more volunteers to cover the very remote villages where procreation exercises also take place daily?
What if the available health workers are periodically trained and retrained to cope with current / emerging challenges in the field?
What if the ever present traditional birth assistants are brought into the picture?
What if they are trained, equipped and compelled to complement the efforts of the medical workers?
What if the TBAs are compelled to register with proper health facilities?
What if every mother have access to free family planning counseling and service?
What if every mother and ultimately every child have access to proper nutrition?
What if every girl child have access to free education?
What if every girl child is given the opportunity to fully mature and grow into a woman before being given away in marriage?
....there is concentrated efforts on some or all of these 'what ifs'?
Could there be some form of acceleration, even if it's slight?
I believe that even if we could have a teeny tiny reduction of these avoidable deaths, then we would have achieved a whole lot given the population of our dear country.
Slow progress is still what it is -progress.
Available facts points to the unrealistic expectations to meet the MDG 2015 target by the Nigerian government but we could still get in some great deal of efforts in reducing these heartrendingly preventable deaths.
It is the job of every individual, family, establishment and the government to make this dream a reality. Yes, it's a dream to me. It may not be realistic to expect the realization of this dream in 2015 or 2025 or 2035 or even 2045 but I believe it will happen at some point.
Often times we leave everything to the government and the blame for everything that goes wrong goes automatically to you know where, from terrorism to indigestion.
Sometimes the Government get it right and sometimes it's all wrong with a capital 'W' but I daresay if we are to make meaningful impact, leaving all to the government may be a misadventure in futility especially with the 'kind' of government we have in the country.
The task requires the concerted effort of everyone and I am seizing this opportunity to call on you. Yet, again to join in the campaign.
In a country where only 39% of births take place with the assistance of skilled medical personnel and immunization coverage is only between 32.8% to 60%, then a lot needs to be done. By me. By you.
I believe we can make a difference by seeking to develop more than a passive interest in our surroundings.
I am thinking of that pregnant 'kunu' or 'paraga' woman trudging slowly with her wares in the daily battle for survival and sustenance.
That maid that walks by daily. The cleaner that comes to clean up the house very Saturday with no other known means of survival. The security guy's wife sitting daily by the 'wosiwosi' kiosk. The roadside grocer's daughter just out of school but already pregnant. The list goes on and on.
We are all in this together. Remember, we are sisters with similar goals regardless of age, social standing or geographical location.
We can seize opportunities wherever we find them, even if we risk being 'burned' in the process. We would have played our part, right?
Though I cannot achieve anything significant, alone but I do not want to lose sight of the goal, hence this follow up post. We've got to keep pressing on until some very significant victory is achieved.
Our small and steady infinitesimal steps taken in love could indeed make huge impacts and bring us closer to achieving this noble but lofty goal.
Care to join me?
A tweet per day may just be what would draw somebody's attention briefly from politicking to this salient issue.
A facebook post, maybe.
Or a full blog post. Let's use whatever platform we have to get the word out some more.
Save the child. Save the mother.