Tag Archives: Nigeria

Nigeria | Ensuring the sustainability of MPDSR

With the support of the MamaYe-E4A programme over the last five years, Nigeria has worked to embed the MDSR process at state level in the country –and is the only setting that we knew of with a sub-national level maternal death review (MDR) scorecard at the time of dissemination in October 2015.

In the last few quarters in Ondo State, two MDR scorecards have been developed by the Evidence Sub-Committee of Ondo State Accountability Mechanism for Maternal and Newborn, Health supported by E4A-MamaYe. These scorecards were based on the MDR data from all secondary-level facilities and two Mother and Child Hospitals in the state and aim to challenge the previous lack of reporting and review of maternal deaths. The scorecards were disseminated at a stakeholder meeting in Ondo and one of the key findings (that sepsis had overtaken haemorrhage to become the highest cause of maternal death) sparked lively debate.

The attendees explored the issues from both the woman’s and the facility’s point of view, and suggested strategies on both fronts for example, educating women on personal hygiene during antenatal care whilst also encouraging prompt referral of cases of premature rupture of the membranes at facilities.

One of the key issues discussed was while Ondo State Mother and Child Hospital provides most maternal, newborn and child health (MNCH) services for free, the most effective antibiotics, cephalosporins, are not exempted from costs. This means that staff may be forced to prescribe women cheaper antibiotics because they cannot afford cephalosporins. This was also leaving women open to the risk of being sold fake drugs by pharmacies, which would be ineffective against sepsis. The Ondo meeting attendees discussed strategies to counter this issue, for example, advocating at state level to get cephalosporins included in the free MNCH services, and using TruScan, a device which can detect fake drugs, to ensure women are being given genuine drugs.

While MamaYe-E4A’s presence in Ondo State ended in March 2016, key components of the programme are being integrated into the DfID-funded MNCH2 programme in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Zamfara, Yobe and Kaduna States including MDR scorecards and advocacy. In addition, under a new contract from the Gates Foundation, MamaYe-E4A is working to replicate this success in other States, including setting up similar systems in Lagos State.

Recent successes in Bauchi State include the review of MDR reports from 2015 by the Bauchi State MDSR Steering Committee, which enabled them and the Bauchi State Accountability Mechanism for MNCH to convene a stakeholder meeting to discuss and identify causes of maternal death and create action plans. At this meeting it was revealed that the highest cause of maternal death was anaemia, and possible factors causing this were identified to include the high prevalence of worm infestation and poor nutrition among women, as well as supply-side issues such as inadequate access to health services and lack of blood supplies. Discussions then focused on how to tackle these issues: how to ensure women are de-wormed regularly, provide nutrition education on diet using local foods, and how to make sure facilities have functional blood banks.

In Lagos State, the recent inauguration of the maternal and perinatal death surveillance and response system included launching a committee at state-level and supporting the training of 135 health care providers across secondary facilities and one tertiary facility. Training was conducted in four batches and was the first MamaYe-E4A had conducted under the updated national MPDSR guidelines which aimed to integrate perinatal death review into MDR systems.

This national level focus on perinatal death is being consolidated. In June, the National MPDR Steering Committee meeting members discussed building on the experience of MamaYe-E4A and MNCH2 in training health care providers on the updated MPDSR guidelines. A workshop was planned for the end of June where MamaYe-E4A and MNCH2 could share their training methodology, slides and materials to support the national MPDR Steering Committee in developing a training manual on MPDSR.

This focus on perinatal death is also filtering down to state level: the last MDR scorecards from Ondo State (January to March 2016) highlighted perinatal death review data in line with the national shift towards a commitment to perinatal survival.

To view the MDR scorecard for Ondo State (January to March 2016), please click here.

Acknowledgements: This country update was compiled from feedback from Dr Tunde Segun, Country Director for E4A-MamaYe Nigeria, and content from E4A quarterly reports.

Making the case for MDSR at Women Deliver

The MDSR Action Network was represented at the Women Deliver conference through an Options evening side event on ‘Accountability for Health Results’.

The event included talks and booths about Options’ work in Nigeria, Nepal, Tanzania and Malawi as well as Options’ regional network and platforms: MamaYe, Africa Health Budget Network, The Girl Generation, African Health Stats and the MDSR Action Network.

Photo credit: E4A

The MDSR booth at the event exhibited materials highlighting Options’ MDSR work worldwide, including copies of the MDSR Action Network newsletter and the MDSR scorecards from Sierra Leone and Nigeria. It provided a great opportunity to share resources and experiences of how different countries are using MDSR to strengthen accountability to improve the care of mothers and babies.

Dr Tunde Segun, Country Director of MamaYe-E4A Nigeria, manned the booth and engaged with a steady stream of visitors, talking them through the materials, answering questions, and inviting them to sign up for the MDSR Action Network newsletter. Almost all of those approaching the booth readily agreed to sign up to be kept in the loop on this important issue.

Dr Segun spoke to a crowded room about how the MamaYe-E4A programme in Nigeria has supported MDSR. For example, four states have now established MDSR scorecards, which measure the strength of the MDSR system and can act as powerful catalysts of action to improve quality of care. In Jigawa State, the MDSR data showed clearly that more maternal deaths were occurring at night, and action was taken to modify staff rotas to ensure senior midwives were on duty during the night shifts.

In Ondo State during the last quarter of 2015 and first quarter of 2016, the MDSR scorecard showed that sepsis had overtaken haemorrhage as the primary cause of maternal death. Health care providers, policy makers and stakeholders discussed these findings, looking at gains made in addressing haemorrhage by improving the functionality of blood banks in Ondo, but also in terms of the practical actions the state could take to confront sepsis. Actions such as lobbying to get the most effective antibiotics available under the state’s free maternity services are being considered.

Finally, Dr Segun celebrated Nigeria’s pioneering spirit on MDSR by sharing the fact that during the FIGO World Congress in Vancouver 2015, the World Health Organization had revealed that Nigeria was the only country at that time to have produced an MDSR scorecard at the sub-national level.

Acknowledgements:

This case study was informed by feedback from Dr Tunde Segun, Country Director for Evidence for Action in Nigeria.

Experiences with facility-based maternal death reviews in northern Nigeria

This mixed-methods study emphasised the value of teamwork, commitment and champions at health facility level to facility-based MDR in Nigeria.

The authors found that where key members of MDR committees transferred, where facilities were understaffed or there was a lack of supportive supervision, these problems significantly undermined the sustainability of the MDR process.

They recommend MDR be institutionalised in the Ministry of Health to provide adequate support to staff.

Nigeria: Implementing a community component and using evidence for action

At national level, the Federal Ministry of Health carried-out a meeting in February with key stakeholders (UNICEF, E4A, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, WHO, UNFPA, National Population Commission, and the Centre for Disease Control)  on their Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) system. The purpose of the meeting was to share updates on progress in implementing MPDSR and discuss moving MPDSR forward. Reported progress in implementing MPDSR to date from the federal-level includes: 

  • Development of MPDSR national guidelines
  • Nation-wide orientation on MPDSR held at zonal level
  • Establishment of National and State Steering Committees
  • Development of national and state implementation plan

The central discussion of the meeting focussed on how to leverage existing structures to implement a community component of MPDSR.

At sub-national level, E4A-MamaYe has supported the training of Maternal Death Review (MDR) committees in all Secondary Health Facilities in the following States: Bauchi, Jigawa, Kano, and Ondo. These facilities are now conducting MDRs. MDR data is collected quarterly and used to develop scorecards that provide evidence for the Advocacy Sub-Committees of the State-Led Accountability Mechanisms. Please see examples of MDR scorecards from Bauchi, Kano, and Ondo.

MDR evidence is influencing policy, service delivery and community action in Nigeria. For example, as a result of MDR evidence, Kano State Government included three key activities in the 2016-2018 State Medium Term Sector Strategy (MTSS). These include:

  1. Conduct of MDRs in facilities and quarterly MDR review meetings at the State level
  2. Provision and maintenance of functional blood banks in all State hospitals
  3. Integrated demand creation activities to improve uptake of ANC and maternal survival.

In response to the finding that post-partum haemorrhage is a leading cause of maternal deaths in Gumel General Hospital of Jigawa State, the hospital management mobilised community members (around the catchment areas of the facility) to form blood donation groups who are now donating their blood voluntarily, and blood is now available in the facility.

Update from Oko Igado, National Technical Advisor for E4A-MamaYe, Nigeria

Nigeria

At national level, the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) is planning to institutionalise Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) in Nigeria. As part of this, the FMOH carried out four zonal orientation meetings of representatives of the 36 State Steering Committees and the FCT, on MPDSR in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Jos and Kaduna in early November, which covered in-country experiences of implementing MPDSR at the facility and community level.  The meetings were attended by a variety of stakeholders, including representatives from the FMOH, the World Health Organization, Save the Children, Evidence for Action (E4A), UNICEF and the Society of Gynaecology and Obstetrics of Nigeria.

As a result of these four zonal orientation meetings, the FMOH established a virtual MDSR network on MPDSR titled ‘Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response in Nigeria and is hosted on Facebook.

At sub-national level, in Ondo State, the first zonal facility MDR training has taken place for MDR agents, who included Chief Medical Directors, heads of the Obstetrics and Gynaecology departments, and the nurse/midwife or matron in charge of the hospital labour ward. In Kano, a two-day MDR review meeting has taken place for the State and Facility MDR Committees, which resulted in the development of a workplan for August 2015 to February 2016. In Bauchi State, the Technical Working Group on MDRs successfully trained 131 Facility MDR Committee members from 25 out of the 26 General Hospitals in the State. The committees have drawn up workplans to begin reviews in their facilities.

Update from Dr Tunde Segun, County Director E4A-Nigeria

 

Experiences with facility-based maternal death reviews in northern Nigeria

The journal article Experiences with facility-based maternal death reviews in northern Nigeria presents the findings of a study evaluating the effectiveness of the use of facility-based MDRs by the Partnership for Reviving Routine Immunization in Northern Nigeria – Maternal Newborn and Child Health (PRRINN-MNCH).

The evaluation uncovers a number of findings, including:

  • Only 93 (12.1%) of the total maternal deaths reported in HMIS for the same facilities had been recorded on the MDR forms and only 52 of these maternal deaths had been reviewed; a mere 6.7%.
  • Despite the minimal number of MDRs taking place in these facilities, the MDRs that were conducted did result in improved quality of care, such as the better management of patients and the mobilisation of resources.
  • The process of using MDRs stopped for some time in the 11 hospitals visited for the study. Reasons included the transfer of key MDR committee members, inadequate supportive supervision and shortage of staff. Most did, however, restart with revitalisation of the MDR process by PRRINN-MNCH staff.
  • Challenges reported included fear of blame felt by health workers, shortage of staff to undertake committee meetings, inadequate supportive supervision and low quality record keeping.

The authors conclude by highlighting successful features of the MDR process, including teamwork, commitment, champions at the health facility level to lead the process, and guidance, coordination and support from the national and state Ministries of Health.

Full reference: Hofman, J.J., & Mohammed, H. (2014). Experiences with facility-based maternal death reviews in northern Nigeria. International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, 126 (2): 111–114. 

The role of advocacy in the national strategy for maternal death review in Nigeria

The 2014 article ‘The role of advocacy in the national strategy for maternal death review in Nigeria’, by Fred F. Achem, Chris O. Agboghoroma, and Moses O. Adeoye, published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, describes the role of stakeholder advocacy in the development of a maternal death review programme in Nigeria in 2013. The authors note that MDRs are more sustainable when incorporated into already existing health services. Given that most health services in low-income countries are linked to the government, advocacy efforts by stakeholders to encourage ownership and commitment by governments are vital for the success of MDRs.    Continue reading

midwives boditi

Acting on findings from a Maternal Death Review at the facility level

Maternal death reviews (MDR) in Nigeria are not new, as some states have been conducting them over the years. However the methods used were developed locally and unique to each state. Aminu Magashi Garba – Evidence Advisor with the Evidence for Action programme in Nigeria presents the case of a secondary level facility that has been able to make small but important changes after having adopted MDRs.  Continue reading

Autopsy-certified maternal mortality at Ile-Ife, Nigeria

An article – Autopsy-certified maternal mortality at Ile-Ife, Nigeria, by Amatare Dinyain, G Olutoyin Omoniyi-Esan, Olaejirinde O Olaofe, et al, published in the International Journal of Women’s Health 2014:6 41–46, reports on findings based on a retrospective review of post-mortem autopsies of maternal deaths at a hospital in Nigeria over a 5-year period. Continue reading