6 Improve maternal health

Where we are

 Women Preparing Composting
Women Preparing Composting. Photo: UNDP Nigeria

Nigeria has continued to reduce the Maternal Mortality Ratio, which is a commendable achievement. In 1990, it was estimated that 1,000 mothers died per 100,000 live births, in 2008 this dropped to 545 and in 2012, the figure is now 350. Nigeria is still 28.6% away from the 2015 target, but there is definite progress in this Goal area. Progress has been driven in a major part by the introduction of the Midwife Services Scheme, which has seen the reversal of the previously negative trend in the percentage of skilled health personnel attending births. In 2008, deliveries that had skilled birth attendance were 38.9% while it rose to 53.6% in 2012. (Source is from OSSP-MDG).

Some of Government commitments to ensure that, the proportion of births attended by a skilled health worker remained on the upward spiral and to avoid the threats of holding back further progress include strengthening the primary health care system at local level by implementing the Safe Motherhood Programme. The innovative Midwives Service Scheme and the Community Health Extension Workers' Programme have contributed to the modest successes recorded by bridging the human resource gap that exists, further accelerating progress. The Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) is indeed one of the most successful projects/commitments in solving the problem of human resource shortage in the country and this has contributed greatly to skilled birth attendance in Nigeria's health facilities.

The formulation of the MDGs Acceleration Framework Action Plan for Goal 5 has also been completed, with bottlenecks identified, solutions proffered, and a five year plan costed. Efforts are currently being made to ensure the accountability matrix drawn is strictly adhered to during the implementation process.