Zeinab Abdul Mumin, winner of 2017 Ghana’s Most Beautiful reality pageant on Saturday launched the Mayurlim Foundation to help reduce the incidence of maternal mortality in Ghana.
Zeinab, the Northern regional representative of the culturally defined beauty pageant who couldn’t hold back her tears after watching a campaign documentary of the difficulties women face during childbirth, made a firm commitment to help reduce maternal deaths especially in the three northern regions.
At the launch of her project, the Mayurlim Foundation which literally translates as mother’s love, she said she was not only focused on reducing maternal deaths but very passionate about improving other areas related to women’s health.
The project which is estimated to cost GH?700,000 falls within the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDG) of significantly reducing child and mother related deaths.
Maternal mortality is a huge challenge despite considerable investments in the healthcare system. The UN estimates that Maternal mortality is still considerably higher in Ghana than the MDG 5 target of 190 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births.
According to the UN such deaths could be more than halved if accelerated investments are made to provide access to essential reproductive health services such as family planning, skilled attendance at childbirth, universal access to emergency obstetric and neonatal care.
In line with broader goals of alleviating these challenges, she noted that the foundation’s objective will include creating awareness about family planning methods and providing proper access to maternal services in the rural communities. It will also aim at organising seminars to help midwives carry out their duties efficiently.
The beauty queen said it is unfortunate women still die from complications of pregnancy and childbirth and that such cases are higher in rural areas and poor communities. She said the situation can be attributed to poverty, inadequate resources to handle complicated cases, overcrowding, poor sanitation and a host of other factors.
According to her, winning the competition is a life turning moment that will allow her to share her humanitarian work in deprived communities.
Miss Zeinab appealed to Ghanaians to prioritise the fight against maternal mortality while calling for assistance in financial aid to help the foundation achieve its set objectives.
She appealed to stakeholders from public health, academia, governmental as well as well-meaning Ghanaians to come on board to reduce the number of women dying due to complications in childbirth.
Head of Corporate Communications at Media General, Richard Ahiagble said over the years the company has championed similar projects initiated by past finalists and winners of the competition in areas of health, education, community development among others. He said collectively these projects have made significant impacts in the lives of local communities.
According to him, maternal mortality is a major risk to all Ghanaians indicating that every life lost through childbirth is a dent on the conscience of the nation.
“That is why at Media General we are excited that she has decided to do a project focused on preventing maternal health and combating maternal mortality in vulnerable communities across the country”, he said.
Mr. Ahiagble said social impact projects initiated by winners reflect on the theme of the competition which is redefining beauty to promote national unity, adding that it also offers Ghanaians an opportunity to celebrate the best of Ghana’s culture and customs.
He therefore called on the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Protection and other relevant stakeholders to support the project.
In his remarks, chairman for the occasion, Chief Alhaji Hamidu Abubakar Kabore said being present at the birth of three out of his 21 children has given him a firsthand experience of the challenges women go through to give birth which has further elevated his respect and admiration for women in their effort to bring life into the world.
He added that he doesn’t take kindly to people who disrespect women and therefore threw his weight behind the project.
Miss Zeinab was supported by her fellow finalists, chiefs and traditional youth leaders from her home region as well as other beauty queens who were present in solidarity.
The event was hosted by Johnie Hughes, with cultural performances from the School of Performing Arts crowning an evening of excitement for guests.