Tell us about yourself. 

My name is Deborah Funmi Adiele nee Oladunjoye. I am from Ogun state by birth and from Abia state by marriage. I had my secondary school education at Baptist High School, Obanikoro Lagos. I am married with two adorable children. I am an enthusiastic lover of children. I love women and I love to leave people happy or happier.

As a child, what did you want to become in future? What do you do now?

As a child, I wanted to be a home maker with different streams of income. Along life’s journey, I have tried different things but I knew what I wanted to do. Then coming across Mamalette, was a good one for me because today, I am fulfilled. I have opportunity to meet women and impact lives.

Why did you volunteer as a Mamalette Champion?

Deborah at a Mamalette Home Visitors training program in May 2019

I volunteered as a Mamalette Champion so that I can help touch, educate and impact lives.

What was a striking moment for you during this program?

Deborah with an enrolee and Kearline Jones and Tierra Pritchett from Health Partners Plans at a Makoko program site in August 2019

Wow! Getting to visit the Makoko area in Lagos, seeing where people live.

Can you share a story of an enrollee whose life you have impacted during this program?

I would like to share the story of one of my favourite enrolees. She was very open and truthful with me. She was also naive and had no knowledge about her health status. She had a miscarriage in February 2019 at 17 weeks of pregnancy. She was upset that the miscarriage occurred just a week after she had registered for antenatal as she paid a lot to register at Shomolu General Hospital. Then to worsen the case, the doctors said she would be admitted in hospital and required that she took an ‘expensive’ injection. She narrated that said she had fought with the doctors and she asked “nibo ni mo ti ko”? (‘Where did I contract it?’) And she didn’t allow them to even explain. She was treated and was given that expensive injection of N30,000 and this made her very annoyed. When she became pregnant again, she decided to register in a church maternity clinic because it was cheaper than the hospital.

I then encouraged her, told her I am a negative mother too and she asked me again how did we contract it? What’s the cure? I educated her about Rhesus incompatibility and why she must take rHogam injection after every delivery, and miscarriage or abortion within 72hrs. After my explanation, she finally understood what the doctors were trying to explain to her. She also decided to go back to a primary health care centre to ensure that her pregnancy was properly monitored as she had suffered a miscarriage before. She told me, ‘Please Aunty, follow me to help me talk to the nurse.’ and I told her ‘No problem’. Today, she calls me at any time, any day to ask any questions pertaining to the her health and the health of her unborn child.

Why is your community important to you?

My community is very important to me. This is why I feel great sadness whenever I hear that a woman dies during pregnancy, in labour or after the birth of a child.

Deborah at a Mamalette Home Visitors training program in May 2019

It saddens my heart also whenever I hear that a child dies due to high fever that happened at night and the child couldn’t get access to proper care. I would go all the way to see what can be done in order to reduce mortality rate of maternal and child mortality to zero or the barest minimal.

I would love to see that the masses in my community have access to a 24/7 health facility, so that they can stop patronising quack health practitioners and swallowing poisonous herbal potions.

What in your life made you care about other people around you?

My personal experience as a mother has made me care about other people around me. My son when he was 9months old started vomiting seriously at the night we rushed him to a private hospital and he was on admission for 2 days. After he was discharged, his condition worsened and he started vomiting again. We then rushed him to to general hospital and we got to emergency ward he was prescribed a simple medication that saved his life. We were then informed that the previous hospital had failed to prescribe the appropriate medication he needed for his condition.
I have seen young children die due to negligence and other factors.

What is the worth of a pregnant woman’s life to you?

A pregnant woman’s life is as important as my life. And my belief is this:if you save a woman’s life, a nation is preserved. And when a woman is educated, a nation is liberated.

Describe a time during the program where you felt helpless.

I had an enrolee I couldn’t continue with because she had special needs that Mamalette Community Foundation could not cope with.

What is your hope for your community?

My hope for my community is that everybody in my community, especially the masses would have easy access to the primary health centre 24/7.

What message do you have for other women who are looking to make an impact in their communities?

Every woman who wants to make impact in her community must be willing to go all the way, be passionate, be ready to give her time and resources, be patient and be able to feel others pains.