The only child of former US President Bill Clinton yesterday met with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan at the Aso Rock Villa as part of a trip organized by her father’s foundation.
While at the presidential villa, Chelsea Clinton discussed her mission in Nigeria with the president stating it as her father’s foundation’s effort to prevent deaths of 1 million mothers and children who die every year from preventable causes, including 100,000 deaths from diarrhoea.
The 32-year-old daughter of President Bill Clinton and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton joined Nigerian officials, the prime minister of Norway and other leaders on Tuesday in promoting expanded access to zinc and oral rehydration solutions (ORS), a treatment that could prevent more than 90 per cent of diarrhoea-related deaths in the country.
“It is unconscionable that in the 21st century, children still die of diarrhoea,” Clinton told Reuters in an interview over the phone from Abuja, Nigeria.
The ORS and zinc work in Nigeria is in coordination with the Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), on whose board Chelsea Clinton serves. She had earlier taken a tour of Africa in July with her father, who founded William J. Clinton Foundation in 2001.
Currently, fewer than 2% of children in Nigeria have access to the World Health Organization-recommended treatment. Increasing the number of children with access to the therapy to 80% by 2015 is what CHAI is set to do, and it would help prevent an estimated 220,000 deaths in Nigeria.
“I would like us to make real, measurable progress here in Nigeria and in other countries where we are working on ORS zinc,” Clinton said, including Uganda and parts of India, as part of Clinton Health Access Initiative’s new push to improve access to essential medicines for children.
“For me, it’s not complicated. We know what works and we should be doing more of it. And when we don’t know what works, we should be innovating and spending time and energy on designing these solutions to solve problems that haven’t been solved yet,” Clinton said.
“I couldn’t imagine not doing work like this. i define success in my life by how much of a difference have I made in a given day, whether that is being a good wife to my husband, a good daughter to my parents, a good friend to my friends, or helping push forward our work at CHAI or the Alliance for a Healthier Generation or any other facet of the foundation.”
“I couldn’t imagine it any other way, and I don’t want to.”