History & Mission
WRA Nigeria was formed in 2009 to give a voice to the women most at risk of dying in childbirth. WRA Nigeria’s mission is to inspire and convene advocates to uphold the right of all women to be safe and healthy before, during and after childbirth. We empower citizens to recognize their rights to hold elected leadership and government accountable for commitments made to maternal and newborn health.
Nigeria has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world. In Niger State, where community participation in the design and delivery of maternal, newborn and adolescent health services is virtually nonexistent, women encounter challenges in accessing health care, including lack of affordability and the need to travel long distances to the health facilities, leading to high rates of maternal and infant mortality.
The Niger State Government must strengthen accountability processes at all levels of the maternal, newborn and child health system to ensure the involvement of citizens in all decisions and actions concerning their health, finding innovative – and often simple – solutions that would otherwise go undiscovered.
WRA Nigeria’s main current campaign, “Citizen-led Accountability for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health (MNCH),” is centered in Niger State with the goal to strengthen engagement platforms between Government and citizens to achieve sustainable improvements in the quality of care for maternal, newborn and child health services. Campaign activities focus on working with local health educators and WRA-trained citizen journalists to identify challenges in their communities, all while amplifying citizens’ voices. WRA Nigeria organizes community dialogues and trains citizens about their health rights and the need to hold leaders accountable.
Our work centers on Niger State, located in the North-central geo-political zone of Nigeria. With a population of four million people, Niger State has 25 Local Government Areas (LGAs) and 274 wards. Our campaign activities focus on three LGAs—Chanchanga, Wushishi and Lapai; each with 11 wards of about 200 communities. WRA Nigeria also works in Ebonyi and Cross Rivers states.
As part of its current campaign, WRA Nigeria has engaged more than 1,000 individuals across 25 communities in Niger State, organizing town hall meetings so citizens and policymakers can together identify reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) challenges and solutions while also integrating citizen-led accountability into all aspects of RMNCAH service delivery.
In 2013 WRA Nigeria led a national advocacy campaign, resulting in Nigeria becoming the first country to officially establish respectful maternity care (RMC) as a standard of practice. The Government of Kwara State has also developed a plan to include RMC at every level of the state’s health system.
WRA Nigeria News
SUPPORT FROM TOP LEADERSHIP: Nigeria's Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (R) endorses the WRA Nigeria campaign and pledges to ensure citizen-led accountability.
WELL DONE: Nigeria's Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (R) shakes hands with WRA Nigeria’ National Coordinator Tonte Ibraye after endorsing WRA Nigeria’s citizen-led accoutability for MNCH campaign. Looking on is boad member Dr. Nanna Chidi–Emmanuel.
WORKING WITH CHAMPIONS: Nollywood Actor, Celebrity, Producer and Entrepreneur Jim Iyke (L), was inaugurated as the WRA Nigeria’s Special Envoy/Goodwill Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health yesterday. Jim Iyke’s role aims at increasing awareness on male involvement and ensure stakeholder engagement.
CAMPAIGN PLANNING: WRA Nigeria team devising a plan to ensure the government is more accountable to its citizens when planning and delivering maternal and newborn health services.
PATRONS & CHAMPIONS: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation signing a Memorandum of Understanding with the Niger State Government.
ENGAGING GOVERNMENT: Participants after a Ward Health Development Committee (WHDC) stakeholders meeting in Niger State. The WHDCs serve as a platform for citizen-led accountability platform.
CITIZENS’ VOICES: Citizens demand accountability for maternal, newborn and child health in Niger State.
Thank you to our partners
Christian Aid UK
National Association of Nurses and Midwives
Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria
Mr. Tonte Ibraye
National Coordinator, WRA Nigeria
Mr. Tonte Ibraye has more than 11 years’ experience in maternal, newborn and child health advocacy and improving the welfare of people living with HIV/AIDS and children orphaned by AIDS. Tonte was appointed National Coordinator of White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria in November 2010. Under his leadership, WRA Nigeria has successfully pushed for the approval of three policies to improve maternal health in Nigeria. This includes increasing access to family planning, maternal death surveillance and reviews, and respectful maternity care. He also led WRA Nigeria to join in the call for passing the National Health Bill, which became law in 2014.
He is currently a member of the Steering Committee of the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) and the National Reproductive Health Working Group.
A political scientist by profession, Tonte has served as the executive director of Live for Tomorrow, and between 2005 and 2008 was rivers state coordinator for the Civil Society for HIV/AIDS in Nigeria (CiSHAN). During that time, he pushed for the Rivers State Action Committee on AIDS to be transformed into the Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RiVSACA) through legislation passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
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