From speaking up against abortion laws as the lead advocate of my university debate team to heading the human rights department of a law firm, my desire to rise up for women, touch lives and change humanity made me establish an organization to feed my passion of saving future women from maternal deaths, getting justice for victims of maternal death occasioned by medical negligence and helping Nigeria meet the 2015 MDG5 goal of reducing maternal mortality by 75%.

Sitting at my table early Tuesday morning and reflecting on a few maternal death cases, I came to the realization of certain grim facts.

Grim fact Number One; Favoritism and nepotism is not only alive but very present in our healthcare system.

When Olujuwura died in June 2011, one of the doctors, upon discovering that Olujuwura’s elder sister was his classmate in school walked up to her and said “if I had known Olujuwura was your sister, I would have done my best for her.” Are you still wondering why pregnant women find out if anyone knows anyone who works at the hospital she is scheduled to deliver? Are you asking yourself what hopes lies for the pregnant woman who knows no one just like OluJuwura? It is to this irresponsible gamble of fate by healthcare providers I say NO!

Grim fact Number two; Depending on your approach, “justice” can be unjust and truly ‘’blind.’’

“Justice” came for Chiwendu eight years after her death due to a Cesarean operation that went bad. In disciplining their negligent colleague, the disciplinary committee of the Nigerian Medical Association suspended the negligent doctor from practicing for a “lengthy” period of three months. Are you still wondering why people are reluctant to seek justice when aggrieved? It is to address such hope killing issues that I live!

Grim fact Number 3: Talking without action gets us nowhere. At best we run in circles!

When Motunrayo died in 2009, everyone expressed anger at her death caused by delay in getting medical attention. Moturayo travelled several kilometers to arrive at the hospital at 6am, suffered series of convulsions and waited till 5:50pm before being wheeled to the theatre due to the absence of qualified anaesthetists. Today, all is calm and life has moved on. Are you still wondering why maternal death rates are on the increase in Africa? It is such against delay in medical intervention that I stand up and take action!

I aim to get justice for the woman who died yesterday, who will die tonight and the one who will still die tomorrow due the irresponsibility of healthcare officers, their inaction and their negligence. I fight to see a change in perception and apathy of citizens towards seeking justice.

I want to see a community fully aware of their basic rights and ready to tackle challenges. I want to see women walk into the hospital with smiles and not terror of the unknown; I want to see healthcare services rendered to pregnant women without delay, I want to see confidence restored in the healthcare sector; I want to see referral services improved. I want to see every single woman LIVE giving life…

Becoming a VOF correspondent will give me the opportunity of meeting with other women who have succeeded in raising awareness for their community and amplifying their voice for change. It will offer me the uncommon opportunity of relating experience, developing ideas, brushing up old strategies and discovering new ones to help my community. I will be learning, impacting and sharing knowledge as well as drawing strength and courage from others. Sometimes zeal comes to low ebb, courage seems to count for nothing, the funds are nowhere and one just feels like giving up. In rare moments like this, a lifting can go a long way.

All through our journey in life, I have come to realize that one is either a passenger or a pilot, the choice lies with us. Today, I chose to be a pilot for my community, not just a speaker but an actor.

What about you?

Take action! This post was submitted in response to eMagazine: Maternal Health .

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Comments

Don't remember me when the sun is shinning. Give a shout when its threatening to rain. Coming from the world's wettest region, I will stand in rain for you, while you go seeking justice of the violated. Love!

Stella Paul Twitter: @stellasglobe

Peju I really enjoyed your article.

There are some similarities between our societies with regards to not only who you know but who knows you.

You are so right access to healthcare and having quality health care is not only for the "known" but those that are not very well known.

These practices are unacceptable!

Keep up the good fight.

Juliette

It's Up to you!!! is the slogan we use in AIESEC (AIESEC is one of the largest International Youth network). So, being an actor, pilot or a passenger - Its up to you!

Dear Sister, I must admit that you are unique in your way of writing and expression. It engages the reader and excites the readers ‘humor. Reading through your stories always reminds me of one of my mentor’s experience she once shared. She is an ethno-anthropology feminist, and at the same time a curator and also a theatrist. So she's got so many personalities in her. one day, she said-she was invited to give a talk (paper presentation) for some conference, and as she went on and on, talking and acting her words at the same time, participants got carry away with her actions and thought she was still introducing her topic. They only realized she was actually presenting a paper after she had finished.

Thank you dear sister, this is beautiful. i enjoy reading your works.

Stay Blessed

Zoneziwoh

Blog: http://zofem.blogspot.com/

Facebook:Zoneziwoh Mbondgulo Wondieh

Twitter | Instagram: @ZoFem

laughing I've been in meetings like that too where i just get carried away and when the speaker rounds up, i wonder where the time ran to, I've also been in some where all I do is look at the time and wonder why its sooo slow :-)

Thank you zoneziwoh, I really appreciate your comments too on every single one of my posts and love reading your stories. Trying to get information for you on the ireport concept towards the general elections in your country. Will inbox you. Cheers!

There are so many people that need for you to continue ACTING, and I'm here to support you. So many woman are inspired by your work, and all the changes the world needs today will happen because of people like YOU, people that DO. The grassroots movement is the solution, and you are in it darling!

Love and light,

Natalie

I really admire your passion for your job, it's evident it''s not just something you do for the money. Be blessed and may all your hard work be rewarded and may you continue to get strength to do what you do.

Wow, I have no doubt you are a lawyer. State your case, give the evidence, prescribe a solution and take action to make it happen. We as women, mothers and possible mothers are lucky...in fact blessed to have you as our advocate. I know then that dead or alive whatever injustice befalls me you will make it right and justice shall be done. You are an inspiration Peju.

Madube finally comes online! Been waiting to read from you all week :-) Thank you so much for your comment Madube...You know how it is with us lawyers wink wink

I know it too well. I am sorry to be offline for such a long time. I had lots of work, had to prepare stuff to feed my blog, I also had preparations for a friend's wedding this weekend. And I like taking my time to really read the stories that the women in this group post. I have learnt so much already from the interactions we have had together :-)

Hi Ade,

All that I could have said has been said. You writing is very engaging and paints the real picture as it is. Girl , you are a mobilizer...

Keep doing what you are doing.

Cheers,

Y

A candle looses nothing my lighting another

I really appreciate your comment and the fact that you find my writing engaging. I have read your writings and I know you are an excellent writer too. Thank you again!

I really appreciate your comment and the fact that you find my writing engaging. I have read your writings and I know you are an excellent writer too. Thank you again!

...Whether you wanna be the leader or the follower, the Pilot or the passenger or simply whether you wanna be the actor or wonder what to do its all up to you!

I really enjoyed reading your post. You wrote in away that everybody can understand, you built your case with concrete evidences, and presented it well, what a great writer and a lawyer!! You are not alone in this fight, we are all in this together. Lets keep moving till we get justice for everyone.

Cheers.

Thank you Runn. I really appreciate your comment. Glad to know we are in this together. Not everyone is courageous enough to be a change maker. Thank you for standing up with me :-)

It is great to read about how as a member of World Pulse you are already working to make change, not just talking about it. You know what needs to be done and how to go about doing it in the most effective way and that is refreshing.

Amy

Very well writing piece Adepeju. I can feel your passion and commitment to standing up and making a different for women. You are already doing great work.... very inspiring.

Keep on keeping.

Best, Azaria

Azaria Ulmer, CHC, CPCC Wellness & Empowerment Coach

Real Foods Heal Everything is food...what are you hungry for? Azaria@Realfoodsheal.com 646-721-1330

Sacred Woman Empowering women and girls around the world Azariau@me.com 646-721-1330