First Lady of Nigeria, Her Excellency, Dr. Mrs. Aisha Muhammadu Buhari was in Accra, Ghana on the 29th October 2019 where she was an Ambassador and Special Guest of Honour at the Sixth Edition of the “MERCK AFRICA – ASIA LUMINARY/ MORE THAN A MOTHER INITIATIVE conference for African First Ladies.
The initiative, which was co-Chaired, by H.E. Madam Rebecca Akufo-Addo, the First Lady of Ghana and Dr. Rasha Kelej, CEO of Merck Foundation was attended by President Nana Akufo-Addo of Ghana. Over 20 African First Ladies and Ministers of Health, Gender, and Education from fifty eight countries around the world with majority coming from Africa also attended the event.
Dr. Aisha Buhari was part of the High Level Panel of the African First Ladies that discussed the challenges of “Building Healthcare Capacity” in the African Continent. The Panel also brought to the fore issues, challenges and solutions of breaking the stigma around Women living with infertility.
Mrs. Buhari shared with the panel and the audience the Nigerian Infertile Women’s experience and what she had done and is still doing through her foundation Aisha Buhari Foundation and pet project Future Assured to help curb the stigmatization, depression and abuse, as well as bring awareness, access to information, Health, and ultimately change of mind-sets.
It is on record, that the First Lady’s top priority since coming to office has been the health and well-being of the Nigerian Women and Children. She had since, through her foundation built and donated two functional Women Hospitals to two out of Nigeria’s six geopolitical zones with the plans to reach the remaining 4 geopolitical zones soon. She informed the Panel that Women in these zones now have the comfort of these hospitals for their healthcare that incudes care for the special group of women facing infertility challenges with the right counselling among others.
Dr. Aisha Buhari also recalled that in fulfilment of her promise made at the launch of “MERCK MORE THAN A MOTHER INITIATIVE” two years ago, she had empowered many women across the country on income generating activities through provision of skills acquisition, and grant of seed capital for micro and small businesses.
The Aisha Buhari Foundation had also specifically identified and empowered more than 200 infertile Women within this period in addition to offering them medical treatment for fertility and providing them with counselling.
Aisha Buhari used the opportunity to call on African societies to desist from the mindset which tend to see Women’s infertility as an abnormal condition and the associated stigmatization and abuse that usually characterize such situation that is capable of being addressed through medical healthcare and modern science.
The First Lady was accompanied to the event by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Women Affairs and Administration, Dr. Hajo Sani, Director General of National Centre for Women Development (NCWD), Barr. Mary Ekpere Eta, and others.