APWEN Celebrates Engr. Mrs. Joanna Maduka at 81

……Holds OMAL-2022 in Gland Style

By Festus OSEJI

The Association of Professional Women Engineers of Nigeria (APWEN) recently in Lagos held the 2022 edition of Olutunmbi Joanna Maduka Annual Lecture (OMAL), being the third in the series. According to The President of the association Engr. Dr. Elizaberth Eterigho, FNSE, while delivering her welcome address said “the lecture series can be termed as professional development lectures used to educate the members and the public at large on issues that are germane to the society”.

She further said “from inception to date of this lecture series, the Great Spirit and passion of our founders one of whom we have all gathered here to honour and celebrate have continue to abide with us”

“Today we have gathered here once again to celebrate our founder Engr. Olutunmbi Joanna Maduka, FNSE, FAEng MFR, who broke the glass ceiling by putting up an advertisement in the Nigerian Newspaper calling all female engineers to a meeting in her office, this call was answered by five others who today we refer to as our APWEN HALL OF FAME/FOUNDING MEMBERS”

“We hail and acknowledge our founding members for lighting up the coast and ensuring that today we stand on an elevated pedestal to look at the society and to find opportunities to embed values at all strata especially for the girl-child; meaning that the founder’s passion has remained potent till date”.

The annual lecture which “remains an avenue to continue to appreciate all the ground breaking efforts carried out by our founding members, programmes were instituted and named after most of our founding members. OMAL has been named after our founding mother whom we call mama APWEN”.

Engr. Eterigho added that the series could not hold in 2020 due to the global shut down as result of Covid-19 pandemic which prevented people from having physical events. And that the past editions have been great with fantastic topics, and that this year’s was not exceptional as the topic is unique, apt and relevant to the professional woman engineer and her health.

The event witnessed dignitaries from various engineering divisions mostly women; other notable engineers that graced the occasion include the chairman of the occasion Engr. Tasiu Sa’ad Gidari-Wugil, FNSE, President of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE); Special Guest of Honour Engr. Alex O. Ogedegbe, FNSE, FAEng, President Academy of Engineering with his amiable wife; and Engr. Ali A. Rabiu, FNSE, President of COREN ably represented; Engr. Mrs. Margaret Oguntala, FNSE, Deputy-President of NSE; Engr. Mrs. Mayen Adetiba, FNSE, FAEng, one of the founding members of APWEN; Engr. Dr. Funmilade Akingbagbohun, FNSE, National Chairman of NIMechE; and the husband of the celebrant Engr. Vincent Maduka, FNSE, FAEng, Past President of Academy of Engineering and former Director General of the Nigerian Television Authority (NTA).

Other dignitaries include Matron of the day Her Excellency Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, First Lady of Lagos State; the keynote speaker Dr. Olumide Sojinrin, Managing Director, General Hospital, Mushin Lagos State Health Service Commission; Guest Speaker Dr. Modupe Olaiya Acting Head of Department of Hematology and Blood Transfusion, Eko University of Medicine and Health Sciences.

The theme of this year’s edition “Reduction of Maternal Mortality through Provision of Adequate and Safe Blood”, according to the celebrant Engr. Mrs. Maduka, was chosen because of the increase in maternal mortality rate in the country which is alarming.

Delivering her lecture Dr. Modupe Olaiya, noted that blood is life and we as a people must ensure we donate blood to save life. In addition she noted that the major reason for the choice of the topic is because “it relates to women, to enlighten women on some of the preventable health challenges leading to women’s death”.“Helps women to focus on one of the ways they can give back to the society”.

She went further to define maternal mortality death as “death of a woman while pregnant or within 42 days of termination of pregnancy and this is irrespective of the duration and site of the pregnancy”. And according to her it can be from any cause related to or aggravated by the pregnancy or its management and it’s not from accidental or incidental causes”.

Dr. Olaiya, noted that the “maternal mortality ratio is the number of maternal deaths in a given period per 100,000 live births, while maternal mortality rate is the number of maternal deaths per 100,000 women of reproductive age (15-49)”.

She further said that “the average maternal mortality rate in low income (developing) countries is 462/100,000 live births, while in Nigeria the figure is 512/100,000 live births”.

According to her, Nigeria is one of the very high alert countries with Maternal Mortality Rate in the range of 500-150 and it’s a country where nearly 20 percent of global maternal deaths happen”.

She took the audience through Maternal Mortality Rate in the developed countries like Finland is 3.0-100,000 live births; Italy is 4.2-100,000 live births; Canada is 10-100,000 live births; United Kingdom is 7-100,000 live births and United State of America is 19-100,000 live births”

She also emphasized on some of the major causes of maternal mortality which includes according to her “a systematic study by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, the leading causes of maternal death were; obstetric haemorrhage (Bleeding) 27 per cent; Hypertensive disorders 14 per cent; Pregnancy-related sepsis 11 per cent; Abortion 8 per cent; Embolism (Blood clot) 3 per cent; while other causes like complications of delivery, obstructed labour 10 per cent”.

She concludes by saying that haemorrhage (bleeding) remains the leading direct cause of maternal deaths and that the statistics are still the same today globally. And the statistics indicate that at least one quarter of maternal deaths can be prevented by rapid access to safe blood transfusions, so she encourages individuals most especially women and young girls to donate blood through voluntary donors, family replacement donors, commercial blood donors etc. All women within the WHO acceptable donors should donate blood to save lives of fellow women who might need it in the future.

The President of NSE, Engr. Wudil in his goodwill message appreciates APWEN and its leadership for their effort in keeping up to the vision of the founding members. He also challenged engineers to come up with the technological innovations to join in tackling the rate of maternal mortality in our society, by creating machines for easy screening and transfusion of blood to save life.

The president of APWEN and the organizing committee led by Engr. Rose Madaki, FNSE, used the opportunity to recognize some members and sponsors of the event with award plaque, the recipient includes; Her Excellency Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu; Dr. Olumide Sojinrin; Dr. Modupe Olaiya amongst others.

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