Advocating for MDR institutionalisation underway in Nigeria

Maternal death reviews have recently been institutionalised in Nigeria, thanks to the ongoing advocacy efforts of the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians of Nigeria (SOGON). Read more below!

In Nigeria, national maternal death reviews (MDR) guidelines were recently adopted and MDR has been gaining momentum on the ground. MDR are now being seen as a crucial component of strategies to reduce maternal deaths in the country. Well done to the Society of Gynaecologists and Obstetrics of Nigeria (SOGON) and partners for contributing towards this thanks to their ongoing advocacy efforts!

Key strategies leading to the institutionalisation of MDR in Nigeria included:

  • Actively advocating for MDR to state and federal government as well as health authorities
  • Organising talks and workshops to raise awareness of and gather broader support for MDR
  • Actively supporting the development of the guidelines themselves through a technical workshop involving key stakeholder
  • Working relentlessly to have the guidelines endorsed and approved by the National Council of Health
  • Supporting the capacity-building of health workers on the ground with of view of starting implementation
  • Taking active steps towards the phased introduction of MDR on the ground. For example, SOGON partnered with the Lagos State Government on conducting maternal death reviews at the facility level across the state

Regarding the latter, catalytic donor funding (FIGO LOGIC, MacArthur Foundation) was sought to cover initial activities including advocacy, the development and printing of guidelines and tools, and the training of health workers.

It is expected that MDR in Nigeria will initially be facility-based, with community-based reviews to be subsequently introduced. Reviews will moreover focus on maternal deaths only.

To read more on this story, click on the links below:
2015 WHO Standard: Gynaecologists Challenge FG on Maternal Death Reduction
SOGON partners Lagos on the review of maternal deaths