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Advocating better access to quality maternal medicines, contraceptives

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Committed to reduce the burden of maternal mortality across the country, Managing Director, Nigeria Health Watch, Vivianne Ihekweazu, has called for improved access to appropriate and quality maternal healthcare and medicines during childbirth.

According to her, “we have lost too many women due to unavailability of quality medication during and after childbirth, and now is the time for all stakeholders to come together to ensure every Nigerian woman has access to quality maternal healthcare, especially medicines.”

Meanwhile, according to Trends in Maternal Mortality (2000-2017) Report, 23 per cent of global maternal deaths occur in Nigeria.

Ihekweazu said this calls for immediate attention, action, and collaboration by stakeholders in government, private sector, and civil society.

Proffering solutions, the Nigeria Health Watch has launched the Maternal Health Advocacy and Communications project to advocate for better access to quality maternal medicines and contraceptives in Nigeria.

The project is supported by funding from MSD for Mothers and aims to establish a platform where key stakeholders and influencers in maternal health can collaborate and proffer solutions to challenges in maternal health service delivery in Nigeria.

Nigeria Director, MSD for Mothers, Iyadunni Olubode, said despite interventions to reduce Nigeria’s alarming maternal mortality rates, there are still gaps that need to be addressed.

Olubode noted that the project would fill these gaps and see increased joint ownership and responsibility for maternal health outcomes among stakeholders in Nigeria.

Ihekweazu continued: “In creating awareness about the impact of poor-quality maternal health medicines on health outcomes, Nigeria Health Watch will also collaborate with research institutions to publicize research findings on quality of maternal health medicines in Nigeria.

“Recognising that access to quality contraceptive products and services is one of the most effective and low-cost ways to reduce maternal mortality, the maternal health advocacy, and communications project, will illustrate, through a documentary, how an initiative is delivering primary health care and contraceptive services in hard-to-reach communities.”

She explained that the 18-month project would elevate the critical role of quality maternal healthcare in Nigeria and drive policy change, leveraging relevant events, and media to reach target audiences with key insights from the effort.


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