Nollywood actress and filmmaker, Stephanie Okereke Linus is calling for close collaboration among all stakeholders, including the media and government to fight against maternal mortality in Africa.
The award-winning actress, who is the United Nations Populations Fund (UNFPA) Maternal Health Ambassador for West and Central Africa said African governments must take the leading steps in reversing the negative trends of maternal mortality and other health challenges affecting women.
She made the call during a special interactive session with the press in Accra.
While committing to intensify advocacy and education efforts on issues affecting women’s health and their rights, she said there is the need for the media to take keen interest in such developments and impress upon the government to address the existing challenges.
She said media organisations must use their platforms to hold government accountable for their promises and commitments to maternal health issues.
While admitting that the continent had made significant progress to reduce the incidents of maternal mortality, obstetric fistula among others, there is still much more to be done.
She said African countries must work towards completely eliminating barriers that hinder the development of women in society.
Stephanie Okereke noted that lack of access to health care, illiteracy among women, cultural barriers were among the challenges militating against of the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
She described as shameful the high incident of obstetric fistula in some parts of the continent although the condition is preventable.
About 1,300 women are affected by obstetric fistula yearly in Ghana.
By: Jonas Nyabor/citifmonline.com/Ghana