Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN) is a non-governmental, non- profit, non-sectarian, and non-political organization of Nigerian female Medical and /dental practitioners, who are qualified and registered according to the accepted national regulation of the medical profession in Nigeria.
MWAN was formally inaugurated on 23rd April 1977 at University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Oyo State, Nigeria. Dr. S. Oludayisi Oduntan, a renowned Professor of Public Health, is the Founder and first Convener of MWAN, who having attended the 14th International Congress of Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA) in October 1974 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, came back to Nigeria and convinced some Nigerian medical women on the need for the National Association. The vision was fulfilled on 4th June 1975 when Medical Women’s Association of Nigeria (MWAN), Ibadan Branch, was officially inaugurated during a meeting held at Department of Ophthalmology, UCH, Ibadan, Oyo state of Nigeria.
During the 15th MWIA Congress which held in Tokyo, Japan, In August 1976, Nigeria was officially affiliated to MWIA as the first Medical Women Association from black Africa to become an affiliate of MWIA. This Congress was attended by three female doctors: Dr. Oludayisi Oduntan, Dr. Aderonke Manuwa-Olumide, and Dr. Modupe Onadeko, who were members of the MWAN Ibadan branch.
The National body of MWAN was officially launched and inaugurated on 23rd April, 1977, with the following members as the pioneer elected National Executive Officers: Dr. Irene Ighodaro, President; Dr. S. OludayisiOduntan, Secretary/Corresponding Secretary; Dr. Funke Akinosho, Assistant Secretary; Dr. Yetunde Odunsi, Publicity Secretary; and Dr. Modupe Onadeko, Treasurer.
At the 16th MWIA Congress which held in Berlin, F.R. Germany on 26th August to 2nd September 1978, Nigeria was honoured with the election of Dr. S. Oludayisi Oduntan as the Vice President of MWIA for Africa and Near East Region. Thus, Dr. Oludayisi Oduntan became the first black medical woman to hold an executive position in MWIA. MWAN was represented at this Congress by female Doctors from Ibadan, Lagos, Benin, and Ile-Ife. The delegates were led by the National President, Dr Irene Ighodaro.
The first National Bi-ennial Conference of MWAN was held at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Lagos, on 19th May 1979. Since then MWAN has continued to hold her National Conference every biennium, during which members assemble to deliberate on topical public health issues of relevance especially as it concerns women and children. In addition, The National Executive Concil and Committee members of the Association meet on quarterly basis to evaluate the progress made in the programmes and activities of the Association.
MWAN is an affiliate of the Medical Women’s International Association (MWIA). MWIA is believed to be the oldest international medical organization in continuous existence, having been founded in 1919 in New York, United States of America. As an affiliate of MWIA, MWAN has consultative status with the Economic Emergency Fund (EEF) and The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). She maintains liaison with Planned Parenthood Federation, International Federation of University Women, and the International Council of Women, Amongst other organizations. MWAN is also an affiliate of Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), and Nigeria National Council for Women Societies (NCWS). MWAN in July 2017 was granted special consultative status with United Nations (UN) Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). This is the highest status granted by UN to Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), allowing the NGO participation in UN works.
COVERAGE IN NIGERIA
Presently, MWAN has 31 state branches. These state branches in alphabetical order are:
Abia, Adamawa, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Borno, Cross River, /delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Enugu, Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Gombe, Imo, Kaduna, Kano, Kebbi, Kogi, Kwara, Lagos, Ogun, Ondo, Osun, Oyo, Plateau, Rivers, Sokoto, and Taraba.