The campaign launching period is when we secure the buy-in of stakeholders - from gatekeepers to community groups – and get their support, involvement, ownership and action in our activities to save the lives of pregnant women and newborns.
The campaign is simply to demand for availability of basic resources at the community’s health facilities, such as life-saving drugs, safe blood and midwives 24/7. These are essential in making a health facility safe for pregnant women and newborns.
The importance of launching community MamaYe campaign is to actively involve the community in advocacy and accountability on their maternal and newborn health needs.
In 2015, the MamaYe community launch came alive in Azare, with a lot of fanfare and an awesome group of enthusiasts in attendance.
In 2016, we moved to another community, Ningi Local Government Area, and splashed the community with MamaYe colours of orange and teal. A team of MamaYe Super Activists received the MamaYe team. The Super Activists team included the Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Coordinator in Ningi local government area (LGA), the Health Coordinator and the Director Health of the LGA.
It was exciting to listen to the Director of Primary Health Care of the LGA, Hajia Birnin Kudu, when she thanked MamaYe for choosing Ningi LGA as one of the befitting LGAs in Bauchi State to receive the launch of the MamaYe campaign in Bauchi State.
She promised the support of her department, which was the host of the event, every support and commitment. She reiterated her belief that together, the goal of saving the lives of mothers and newborns in Bauchi State would be achieved.
The MamaYe Campaign Bauchi State Coordinator, Gideon Poki, told the gathering that prior to the official community launch, thirty individuals representing different stakeholders had already been trained in Ningi LGA as MamaYe Super Activist, and they have been doing an excellent job inviting and recruiting more people in the local government to join in creating awareness on the importance of antenatal care attendance for pregnant women, the joy and necessity of blood donation to save the lives of pregnant women in labour and newborns, and the need to demand for services that are meant to be provided for them at the facilities located in their areas.
Representative of the Chairman of the LGA commended us, telling the gathering that ‘The work of MamaYe is work ordained by our Creator’. He implored everyone to key into the idea of helping and acting to save the lives of pregnant women and newborns.
And the LGA Chairman gave us the green light!
While in Ningi, you should feel free to carry out your activities in all the nooks and crannies of the community. You have our total support. From here, we will lead you in a procession to the Emir’s Palace where a large crowd is already waiting for us.
Like kings and queens we rode to the Emir’s palace
And we left for the Emir’s Palace in a convoy of about 12 vehicles, where women, children, youths, elders, community leaders, religious leaders and market women numbering over 500 were waiting to witness the launch of the MamaYe campaign. This all happened despite the fact that it was the community market and worship day!
We went for royal blessings
The Information Officer of the LGA told the Emir that we came for royal blessings, we came to inform him of the official launch of the MamaYe campaign in his domain, and we wanted him to, on our behalf, reward 2 of his citizens, Umar Danjalingo and Uwar Yan Biu, who stood out in mobilising the community on the MamaYe message of making health facilities safe for pregnant women and newborns.
Uwar Biu was on house-to-house mobilisation of women and men alike, on the importance of pregnant women visiting health facilities, especially ANC. She targets men on giving standing permission to their wives to attend the local facility near them.
She has a cart pulled by two cows that she uses to transport women to the health facility during labour as an emergency support. She is doing all these voluntarily.
She has reached 108 households in 5 communities of Ningi LGA and has transported 18 women to health facilities for delivery.
The MamaYe Campaign and Advocacy Lead, Fola Richie-Adewusi, thanked the Emir and the Emirate council for giving MamaYe a warm royal reception.
"This is the first time in the country MamaYe is receiving such a great royal welcome, thank you sir.We encourage people to donate blood, encourage pregnant women to attend ANC and to work collectively to save the lives of their people. To us, maternal deaths can be avoided. We need our collective effort and commitment. Once again we thank you and God bless".
The MamaYe State Coordinator gave out MamaYe pledge cards to individuals who were willing to join the MamaYe campaign either as activists, blood donors or as champions. A total of 74 persons pledged to MamaYe.
Umar Danjalingo is a known blood donor in his community. He is a MamaYe activist that always donates blood when people are in need. He is always called upon by Health workers to donate blood in the facility. He also speaks to his colleagues in the market about the importance of donating blood. He has donated blood so far up to 38 times to support women or newborns in need.
The Emir thanked MamaYe for choosing Ningi LGA and pledged his support for the noble cause of supporting the survival of mothers and babies.
I am deeply touched and encouraged with the work of MamaYe and as a former health worker, I will partner with you.
We enjoyed unequalled partnership!
The amazing Super Activists of Ningi demonstrated willingness and ability to carry out MamaYe campaign in their communities on their own. They were actively involved from pre-launch meetings by mobilising the community and hiring vehicles for use during the MamaYe launch.
The activists made adequate arrangements before the arrival of the MamaYe team and hired town criers to mobilise people. This is unprecedented. Another feat was a 14-seater bus provided by the Nigerian Union of Journalists, Bauchi State Chapter, to be used during the launch as part of their contribution to support MamaYe launch.
This demonstrated already excellent working relationship of MamaYe team and partners.
MamaYe encourages everyone to take action to help pregnant women and newborns survive. Everyone should become a MamaYe activist.