MSD for Mothers (MfM), in collaboration with the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network, organized a continent-wide advocacy to support and promote a strategic engagement for national and regional advocacy aimed at accelerated action for maternal and neonatal mortality reduction in Africa to meet Agenda 2063 and SDG 3.1 target (which is to reduce the maternal mortality rate below 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030).
The first phase of the project was primarily implemented by engaging Maternal Health stakeholders and policymakers in Nigeria, Senegal and at the African Union Level in five (5) different virtual dialogues. The two major recommendations from the dialogue sessions in Nigeria are – the need to pass the MPDSR Bill and, – the need for the Ministry of Health (MoH) to coordinate and explore partnerships with TBAs and maternal health stakeholders to establish or replicate programs that have proven to be successful in other parts of the country.
In the second phase, ALF identified five states that have attempted to link TBAs within their communities to the Primary Health Care and whose efforts required further investigation. The states include Cross Rivers, Ekiti, Kogi, Ogun and Ondo. These states were understudied by conducting field visits to the maternal health key actors in the State Ministry of Health to capture their MPDSR framework and, TBA engagement processes, structures, and coordination.
During the field visits, ALF in conjunction with Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON), discovered the importance of passing the National and State MPDSR. The MPDSR Bill informs advocacy, policy planning, service delivery and accountability towards ending preventable maternal and neonatal mortality.
In order to power progress for girls and women in Nigeria and across Africa, we are advocating for: the amendment and speedy passage of the MPDSR bill into law at the National level and its replication in the 36 states and; the training of Community Midwives including the skills upgrade for identification of danger signs in pregnancy for the TBAs.