All around Africa, people from all walks of life, including health-workers, decision-makers, community leaders and campaigners, are working for the health of women, babies and children in their communities. Their efforts have saved lives and helped ensure healthy and happy future generations for Africa.
To recognise their outstanding efforts, CARMMA, an African Union campaign to reduce maternal, newborn and child mortality, has launched the Mama Afrika Award.
This award, developed by the AUC in partnership with MamaYe, will hail real-life heroes and heroines from around the African continent. It honours remarkable efforts by individuals, communities, companies, governments or organisations in Africa that ensure Africa’s mothers, babies and children survive and thrive into the future. It is a prestigious, continent-wide prize for excellence in the field of maternal, newborn and child health.
The Mama Afrika Award is named after Miriam Makeba, the famous singer, who was made a citizen of 10 African countries in recognition of her opposition to apartheid; and whose daughter died from complications related to pregnancy. Mr Nelson Lumumba Lee, Miriam Makeba's grandson, said of his grandmother, “she was very passionate about the wellbeing of children and mothers and she believed that women are the ones that nurture a nation”.
It might be an organisation that has made major breakthrough in the care that is given to mothers and babies, or a government who have invested money and resources into health services for mothers and children. Or it might be an individual who has given long-term service, or service in especially difficult circumstances, to help mothers, babies and children survive. They all deserve our recognition.
The award will focus on 6 categories, which will show all the different ways that mothers and babies can be supported. You can nominate someone who has found new ways to fund maternal health services or helped ensure that more women and children can access the care they need; someone who has improved the quality of a health facility or who has encouraged communities to campaign for their mothers and babies; or someone who has helped particularly vulnerable and disadvantaged groups, including in conflict situations.
Nominations will open shortly, and will close on 1 February 2014, with the prize being given at a ceremony in August/September 2014. The Awards committee of the African Union Commission will look for evidence of the commitment, dedication and achievements of the nominees before making the Award.
If you know a person or organisation in Ghana who has demonstrated commitment, dedication and achievements in the field of maternal, newborn and child health, you can nominate them at: http://www.carmma.org/update/mama-afrika-award or email [email protected] There is more about the award on www.mamaye.org.gh
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