BBC Innovators: Di lawyer wey leave her work to help mama dem born pikin

A woman tending to a new-born baby
Image example One pikin dem born ontop mat from one of medical kitbags wey Brown Button Foundation sell

"Sometimes I just really hope say one day nobodi go need our work again." Dis na wetin Adepeju Jaiyeoba wey be Nigerian founder of di Brown Button Foundation tok.

Seven years ago Adepeju, or Peju for short, abandon her lawyer job wey dey pay her well to train traditional birth attendants across Nigeria to fit deliver pikin.

She come produce one bag wey no too cost, wey get important medical tins inside wey dem sell across rural Nigeria to save thousands of lives.

E cost around 1,200 naira (£3) and contain tins like disinfectant, sterile gloves, knife to cut di umbilical cord, mat to lie ontop during labour and tablets to reduce bleeding afta birth.

Image example Most women for Nigeria no dey born for hospitals

"I no tink say anybodi suppose die as dem dey bring life enta dis world," she tok.

Along with her broda wey be medical doctor himself she decide to find out for herself wetin dey really happun wit women wey dey rural areas for Nigeria wen dem wan born.

Wetin she find out no sweet belle at all.

"We see women wey dey born ontop floors, nurses wey dey use mouth suck di mucus of new pikin to prevent asphyxia," she tok.

"We see birth attendants dey cut umbilical cords wit blades wey rust and glass, wey expose newpikin dem to neo-natal tetanus - and many of dem die.

"Simple tins like to wash hand no dey and even glove sef no dey."

Image example Di tins wey dey di bag na only one time dem suppose use am so infection no go dey

Evriday for Nigeria, 118 pregnancies dey end for death. Di kontri get one of di highest numbers of maternal deaths for di world.

To born don become risky tin, Peju tok, sotey e don dey get spiritual angle - more women go like to go traditional place wia dem go born wit herbal melecine and prayer than place wey get ogbonge equipment.

Na dat wan make her set up di Brown Button Foundation to train traditional birth attendants for modern methods to take born pikin.

Wetin she no sabi dat time na say wetin she dey do go las las provide kampe distribution network for her medical kit bags.

Image example Mama dem wey dey expect pikin dey learn about di kits

For di past four years, di Brown Button Foundation don distribute around 500 million delivery kits.

Dia combo of training and delivering packs don reduce deaths by bleeding afta dem born pikin by one quarter for areas wia e bin dey happun, di foundation tok.

One day Peju enta her office to see phone message from pesin from President Barack Obama White House.

Image example Peju foto of her meeting wit President Barack Obama balance ontop her desk

Wen she go house she tell her husband about am, dem agree say maybe na wayo.

But really na invitation from di White House. Dem bin dey invite entrepreneurs from each continent and Peju na pesin dem select from Africa.

"I remember as I waka enta White House and e dey like say na dream" she tok.

"We tok about investment for Africa and health care. Dat na di time wey di work wey I dey do blow."

Image example Di main cause of women wey dey die wen dem dey born pikin na bleeding

Di BBC Innovators series dey show ogbonge solutions to major challenges across South Asia and Africa.

Learn more about BBC Innovators.


Dis BBC series dem produce am wit funding from Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Another thing we de for inside dis tori