Nigeria’s Maternal Mortality ratio is one of the worst in Africa. At 576 per 100,000 livebirths and neonatal mortality at 37 per 1000 live births. The Honourable Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, recognising the dismal situation and the need for urgent steps to be taken to reverse the trend, has invited MamaYe-E4A Nigeria to join a Task Force to address the situation.
MamaYe-E4A is delighted by this opportunity to support the Federal Ministry of Health to achieve this objective using our key approaches to evidence generation and accountability in maternal and newborn health to save the lives of mothers and babies.
Dr Tunde Segun, Country Director, MamaYe-Evidence4Action
On Tuesday 25th July I attended the inauguration of Taskforce Members, led by the Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole. The Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Adewole set the tone of the meeting by presenting the disappointing statistics on maternal and neonatal mortality in the country, focusing on major contributions to maternal mortality in Nigeria:
- Haemorrhage - 22%
- Hypertensive diseases - 12%
- Infection - 15%
- Obstructed Labour - 8%
- Indirect causes - 20% (with hypertensive disorders and unsafe abortion assuming the greater proportions).
Outlining how the government intends to bring focus on maternal mortality ratio (MMR) in the country, with the slogan: "No Woman Should Die Giving Birth"
Professor Adewole also highlighted the socio economic causes such as lack of education, poverty, gender inequality and insurgency in the North East. The Minister charged members of the Task force to develop a roadmap for maternal mortality reduction with a costed work plan that reflects value for money, transparency and accountability within the next 3 months. He urged the team to make their recommendations State specific, acknowledging that different approaches are needed in different situations.Six States have been pre-selected for accelerated interventions due to their high maternal mortality indicators, using Skilled Birth Attendance (SBA) rate as a proxy indicator (NDHS, 2013).
The states are Sokoto 5.4%, Zamfara 6.1%, Jigawa 7.6%, Katsina 7.7 %, Kebbi 9.3%, and Yobe 10.2% while Kaduna and Oyo will serve as control role model.The specific terms of reference for the task force are as follows:
- To conduct a rapid situational analysis and landscaping of maternal mortality in the country
- Make recommendations on the road map for the immediate, midterm and long term reduction of maternal mortality
- Document any other recommendations that may strengthen the Nigerian Health System with a view to improving maternal mortality nationwide
- Report to the Honourable Minister of Health through the Director Family Health Department to ensure institutional memory and seamless integration of committee recommendations into appropriate policy and strategic documents for proper implementation of approved recommendations
- Submit within 12 weeks of the inauguration of the Task Force a final report to the Honourable Minister of Health
With the report of the Task Force, the project will be converted into a nationwide campaign because Nigeria as a whole has a very high MMR. This is seen as part of achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, SDG, to reduce Maternal Mortality to 70 deaths per 100,000 lives in 2030
Honourable Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole
Present at the meeting were representatives drawn from key Ministries including Federal Ministry of Health, National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Ministries of Information, Budget and Planning, and Women Affairs, Commissioners of Health from 8 States – Yobe, Kebbi, Sokoto, Zamfara, Jigawa, Katsina, Kaduna and Oyo. Also represented were Development partners including UNICEF, WHO, UNFPA, JHPIEGO, CDC, ARFH, SOGON, PAN, MNCH2 and Save the Children.
The Task Force presents a great opportunity for MamaYe-Evidence4Action to showcase our ground breaking work on digitalisation of MPDSR in Lagos and to encourage its adoption nationally. In addition, the strength of our MNH scorecards across the States we work in, and our successes in Ondo, can be useful in guiding the Task Force to identify key indicators to work with during the rapid assessments
Esther Agbon, Health Finance and Advocacy Advisor, MamaYe-Evidence4Action
Find out more when the completed road map will be submitted to the Honourable Minister for Health and we take the next steps to accelerate a reduction of maternal mortality in Nigeria.