The Organization of African First Ladies for Development (OAFLAD) has partnered with Terumo BCT, a blood processing and Pathogen Reduction Technologies Company to organize an event on the sidelines of 74th UN General Assembly. The event, themed the importance of blood for Africa’s mothers, held on Wednesday 25th September 2019 at the Rockefeller Plaza, New York.

The meeting was organized to bring new understanding and heightened awareness around the importance of blood as a vital health care resource.

It was noted that 800 women die in childbirth daily, 60% of which are in sub Saharan Africa. Many of these as a result of blood loss during birth. It is therefore important to make blood available for every woman that needs it.

The meeting reviewed present practices associated with access to blood, especially to women during delivery and observed gaps with safety and timely delivery and observed the need for participants to work together to increase research, investment and resources to strengthen and develop blood safety systems in Africa. Members also noted the need to commit to advocating for concrete measures to ensure adequate, safe and sustainable blood for Africa’s mothers and children.

The meeting was attended by First Ladies of Burkina Faso, Burundi, Rwanda, Ghana, Zimbabwe, Niger, Gambia and Chad. Nigeria’s First Lady, Dr. Aisha Buhari was represented by Dr. Hajo Sani, Senior Special Assistant to the President of Nigeria.

The First Ladies of Africa agreed to work tirelessly towards reducing the high rates of maternal, neonatal and child mortality across Africa. They recognized that a lack of infrastructure and equipment for collection and processing of blood components are key impediments to achieving public health goals in Africa – particularly those related to maternal and child health.

In another development, Her Excellency’s was recognized for her humanitarian work and her effort to promote peace at an event organized by the Nigerian Mission at the UN. The event held at the UN Headquarters. Many Nigerians and friends of Nigeria were also honoured during the event.