Eleanor Nwadinobi is a Nigerian medical doctor, mother of four children and four-times grandmother.
An influential woman in Nigeria, she is currently the International President of the Medical Women’s International Association for female doctors and dentists. The Association has been in existence for 100 years in over 90 countries.
“The health problems for women in Nigeria include high maternal mortality, breast and cervical cancer as well as issues related to harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation. Due to the practice of early marriage (and childbirth), we also have related health issues such as vesico vaginal fistula.” she explained.
Through her Association, Eleanor is working on the prevention of breast and cervical cancers through increasing awareness – promoting activities within communities, screening services for breast and cervical cancers as well as noncommunicable diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
Eleanor works with vulnerable groups such as infants, pregnant women, people living with disabilities, elderly, survivors of sexual violence, hard-to-reach and conflict-affected communities, internally displaced persons and street children. She also works with widows of conflict including child widows and those who have suffered harmful traditional practices.
The Association uses a unique campaign called the Women’s right to health information (WORTHI). This operates on the belief that if medical information is made simple and easy to understand and delivered to women in the local language, then communities can receive and act on lifesaving information. The Association carries out the WORTHI campaign in communities so that mothers who are the main care givers in their home can use this lifesaving information to save their own lives and those of their families.
“Our greatest achievement has been the passage in 2015 of the Violence against persons prohibition (VAPP) Act for which our Association actively advocated through Parliament,” she said.
The VAPP Bill was a 14-year long process of activism by civil society engaged in legislative advocacy. The Act entitles victims to comprehensive medical psychosocial, social and legal assistance by government agencies. This bill has stipulated punishment for female genital mutilation, harmful traditional practices, violence and harmful traditional widowhood practices.
The Bill incorporates life imprisonment for perpetrators of rape. The Association speaks out to the general public to raise awareness of the Act, providing support for survivors, training first-line responders and embarking on prevention education.Source: WHO