The project aims to accelerate the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality in 15 states and the federal capital territory of Nigeria. It is designed to strengthen the delivery of maternal, newborn and child health services through evidence-based, gender-responsive interventions, using existing health and community structures in the focus states. It also supports the procurement and distribution of equipment such as newborn resuscitation devices, HIV testing kits, communication equipment, and reproductive health supplies to cover 60% of the annual requirements of these states. Finally, the project provides technical and financial support to enhance the skills of health workers – midwives, doctors and Community Health Extension Workers – through updating training guidelines under the Midwifery Services Schemes, the Community Health Extension Workers Program and doctors serving in the Nigeria Youth Service Corps. The project is implemented in alignment with the Government of Nigeria’s Integrated Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Strategy. The project is implemented by UNICEF in collaboration with the World Health Organisation (WHO), and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). This project is part of Canada’s Maternal, Newborn and Child Health commitment.
Results achieved as of March 2013 include: training 1,611 health workers to provide maternal and child health services and information, including: (1) training 248 nurse-midwives and community resource people to provide skilled pre- and post-natal care to about 100,000 pregnant women and their newborns; (2) training and equipping 280 Community Health Extension Workers to provide community-based newborn care; (3) training 60 health care providers and 30 people living with HIV to provide prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV services to an estimated 3,000 HIV-exposed infants; and (4) training 71 health workers on the Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses – an integrated, preventive and curative approach to child health implemented by families, communities, and health facilities. More than one million couples were provided with protection against unwanted pregnancies that contributed to averting over two hundred thousand pregnancies and over 1,000 pregnant women from dying during childbirth. Also, the transmission of health service data from states to the national level was improved.
In addition, the implementing partners (UNICEF, WHO and UNFPA) – in coordination with other development partners – assisted the Government of Nigeria to roll-out Maternal, Newborn and Child Health Weeks, results of which (as of March 2013) include: (1) helping to reach over four million pregnant women with essential maternal health services (such as insecticide-treated bed nets, anti-malaria drugs, and health education), and more than 23 million children under the age of five with essential life-saving interventions (including Vitamin A supplements, de-worming tablets, and nutrition support); (2) reaching over three million caregivers with training on the prevention of leading diseases affecting mothers and children (sleeping inside insecticide treated bed nets, using oral rehydration solutions to treat diarrhea, completing immunizations, hand washing, antenatal care and preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV); (3) providing information on the gender barriers to maternal, newborn and child health services to about 3.5 million women and men; and (4) mobilizing additional funds of US$11 million to procure contraceptive commodities;
These have contributed to strengthening primary health care systems to provide quality gender-sensitive health services to women, newborns and children and increasing demand for these health services by communities.