Founder-President of the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, Mrs Toyin Saraki has joined Her Excellency Mrs. Jeannette Kagame, First Lady of Rwanda, Her Excellency Mrs. Martine Moise, First Lady of Haiti and Her Royal Highness Sarah Zeid, Princess of Jordan on the “Women of Impact: Global Leaders Creating Positive Change” plenary panel at the International Conference on Family Planning in Kigali, Rwanda.
Mrs Saraki in her address commended Rwanda’s recent progress on healthcare outcomes and called for primary healthcare to be put at the heart of health systems and to improve family planning access around the world.
She said: “It is indeed a pleasure to be here in Rwanda, where tremendous progress has been made in recent years by women, adolescents, the Government, civil society and partners. As Bill Gates recently said, ‘the results in Rwanda show how a strong primary healthcare programme can reap improved healthcare outcomes.
“What I want for every woman, child and every citizen, is to be happy and healthy. I want every girl to have a full and proper childhood, with a fitting education. I want every woman to be safe, happy and healthy. I want her to be able to bring children into the world safely, at a time of her choosing, and to be able to nurture from birth to age. I want her to have choice.”
She stated further that, “There is hardly a goal that we want that cannot be dealt with at the primary health investment level. If we invest in primary health, it gives us a platform to push through everything else that we want to push through. Primary healthcare to me represents a constantly renewed positive social contract and bond between a Government and its people. It remains one of the most strategic investments in the health and wellbeing of women.
“I am very excited by our plans to invest in primary healthcare centres across Nigeria to bring affordable and quality care at the heart of communities. This is a huge investment with several expert partners which will, I believe, help to rejuvenate cities, towns and villages – releasing the demographic dividend in each of them. Those centres will bring together everything that a citizen needs for holistic care – from immunization to family planning – and address the huge gap in health insurance and access to quality care.”
Mrs Saraki thanked Rwandan government for the incredible example in the health space, to the co-hosts of this conference the Bill & Melinda Gates Institute for Population and Reproductive Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Rwanda’s Ministry of Health.
Following the panel Mrs Saraki held multilateral meetings, including with the Rwandan Minister of Health Dr. Diane Gashumba and Dr Patrick Ndimubanzi, the Rwandan State Minister of Public and Primary Healthcare.
The International Conference on Family Planning (ICFP) provides an opportunity for political leaders, scientists, researchers, policymakers, advocates, and youth to disseminate knowledge, celebrate successes, and identify next steps toward reaching the goal of enabling an additional 120 million women to access voluntary, quality contraception by 2020.
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