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The United Nations Population Fund has announced Nollywood actress, Stephanie Linus, as its goodwill ambassador for maternal health in West and Central Africa.
The Deputy Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Eugene Kongnyuy, said Linus was chosen based on her obvious passion for women and children, coupled with the fact that she is a multiple award winning actress who is popular and loved by many.
At an event in Lagos to mark International Women’s Day and unveil the ambassador, Kongnyuy said the new ambassador would help to advocate maternal health, raise awareness and advance the cause of the UNFPA, which include family planning, need to put an end to child marriage and teenage pregnancy.
He noted, however, that the West and Central Africa region has the highest record of maternal deaths in the world, noting that more needed to be done to bring an end to the scourge.
Health in West and Central Africa, Stephanie Linus; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Atinuke Onayiga; Deputy Representative, UNFPA, Dr. Eugene Kongnyuy; and Head, UNFPA Lagos Liaison Office, Dr. Omolaso Omosehin, during the unveiling of Linus as the new ambassador in Lagos… on Wednesday. Photo: Tunde Ajaja.
Linus, in her acceptance speech, described her selection as a honor. She promised to work closely with the UNFPA to draw attention to the work that still needs to be done across the region to increase universal access to comprehensive sexual reproductive health services and the needed information.
She added, “As a woman and mother, I believe every woman has the right to be beautiful, the right to health and the right to support her children to achieve their potential.
“It pleases me to know that these concerns are encapsulated in UNFPA’s mandate to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.”
Present at the event were some Nollywood actors, representative of the Minister of Health, Mr. Greg Izuwa, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Atinuke Onayiga, among others.