Social Media: An Asset to Saving Millions

Ruby Leo and Judd Leonard Okafor | Daily Trust | August 21, 2012

The amount of women and children that die hourly from preventable incidences can be compared to the amount of persons that died during the recent Dana clash that claimed 154 lives in Lagos in June. It is a grim comparison health advocates use to describe the deaths of hundreds—even thousands—of women and children in the country who are casualties of maternal and infant mortality.

Maternal and child mortality has fast become an “issue for revolution,” says says Hadiza Aminu, a campaign adviser for the group, “Save the Children”. “But is the Nigerian public ready?” It’s a question health advocates meeting in Abuja are hoping to find answers to by creating an Arab Spring equivalent of interest in maternal, newborn and child health in Nigeria.

Like in the Arab Spring, advocates plan to mobilise a critical mass of Nigerians on social media, which is fast growing. Sites like “Facebook”, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and DiggIt are crossing over age brackets to claim users in Nigeria. YouTube, last year launched a customized site for Nigeria, allowing videos to load faster on slow bandwidths. More than 4 million Nigerians are estimated to be on Facebook, according to data from Socialbakers...