History & Mission
WRA Nigeria was formed in 2009 to give a voice to the women most at risk of dying in childbirth. Our mission is to activate a people-led movement for reproductive, maternal and newborn health. Driven by a deep passion and commitment, we empower citizens to recognize their rights to health and hold elected leadership and government accountable for commitments made to maternal and newborn health.
Despite important progress over the last decade, Nigeria has the highest number of maternal deaths in the world, accounting for nearly 20% of maternal deaths worldwide. The quality of care expectant mothers receive in facilities has led to a lack of confidence in the health care system overall and deters women and their families from seeking services.
The Government of Nigeria must strengthen accountability processes at all levels of the maternal, newborn and child health system to incorporate citizen’s self-articulated needs in all decisions and actions concerning their health to inform and improve the quality of services provided.
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.
As part of the global What Women Want campaign, White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria galvanized local partners and WRA-trained citizen journalists to mobilize 78,066 responses from women and girls in communities and schools. The top demands were improved water, sanitation and hygiene, respectful maternity care, and more female providers in public health facilities.
As a testament to the power of citizen voices and their ability to directly influence government decisions related to the health system, in September 2017, the Niger State MOH employed 100 midwives statewide in response to WRA Nigeria’s citizen-led advocacy. In the campaign, WRA Nigeria held more than 10 townhall meetings, where citizens and policymakers alike repeatedly raised concerns with women delivering without a trained attendant and the need to employ additional midwives. At the same time, WRA Nigeria embedded citizen-led accountability in Niger State policies and processes, strengthening the overall policy environment to be more responsive to people’s needs.
WRA Nigeria News
NATIONAL DIALOGUE: During the Improving Maternal Health Measurement National Dialogue in March 2020, a plenary discussion was held on the major challenges to an effective, high performing maternity care systems in Nigeria.
STAKEHOLDER GATHERING: A stakeholder group gathers at the Federal Ministry of Health in Nigeria during a one-day consultation on ending preventable maternal mortality and improving maternal health measurement capacity and use in Nigeria.
CAMPAIGN LAUNCH: White Ribbon Alliance Nigeria in partnership with Wellbeing foundation launched the What Women Want campaign in Abuja, Nigeria.
COMMUNITY CONNECTIONS: Nigeria What Women Want survey being conducted by a WRA Nigeria team member.
WOMEN'S DEMANDS: Women at a local health center share their demands for their reproductive and maternal health care during the What Women Want Campaign.
CITIZEN VOICES: “There’s need to employ more health workers. Some participants also said the behavior of health workers needs to improve and power supply needs to be provided in health centers, water supply needs to be improved, etc".
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.
Thank you to our partners
Christian Aid UK
National Association of Nurses and Midwives
Society of Gynecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria
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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