Reducing Risks and Improving Safe Childbirth in Nigeria

Evaluation and Lessons Learned
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With a Maternal Mortality Ratio of 576 per 100,000 live births, Nigeria contributes the largest number of deaths in Africa. Everyday, there is a 1 in 13 lifetime risk of maternal mortality and 111 women die daily from pregnancy and childbirth complications, with over 41, 000 dying to preventable causes that could be averted if basic quality health care was accessible.

Beyond the statistics however, is the pain of human tragedy, the loss of a mother, sister, wife and daughter. It is the loss of a life prematurely gone because of negligence or ignorance. The Government of Nigeria has taken steps to reduce maternal mortality, a lot still needs to be done and it cannot do it alone.

UNFPA through its programme has partnered with the Government of Nigeria to address the significant cause of maternal mortality – pre/ eclampsia and obstetric haemorrhage through strengthening the capacity of healthcare workers in the use of magnesium sulphate and misoprostol2 . The principle behind this is to empower healthcare providers with the appropriate skills to deliver prompt and effective treatment to the unbooked emergencies. The pilot phase of the Misoprostol project was implemented in 7 States3 - Gombe, Zamfara, Kano, Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa and Kaduna.