Inspired by Saving Mothers, Giving Life’s success in Uganda and Zambia, the initiative is expanding to Nigeria, a country that accounts for 14% of the world’s maternal deaths and a quarter of the world’s newborn deaths.
Approximately 58,000 women in Nigeria died from complications of pregnancy and childbirth in 2015, making Nigeria one of the most dangerous countries in which to give birth. As of 2015, the maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria stood at 814 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births — among the highest in the world. Low levels of facility delivery, skilled attendance at birth and use of modern contraceptive methods all contribute to poor maternal and neonatal outcomes. Newborn mortality is very high, with 34 newborn deaths for every 1,000 live births, and 42 of every 1,000 pregnancies end in stillbirth. Deaths of newborns represent one-third of all deaths of children under 5 in the country.
Saving Mothers, Giving Life is beginning its work in Cross River State, located in the southeastern part of the country on the border with Cameroon. USAID has been active in strengthening the health system in Cross River State for several years, resulting in a strong foundation for Saving Mothers, Giving Life to improve maternal and newborn outcomes. By employing a systems approach to strengthening maternal healthcare, Saving Mothers, Giving Life aims to demonstrate substantial improvements in saving women’s and newborns’ lives over the next two and a half years.
Baseline Health Facility Assessment Results
||Cross River State
|Pregnant women giving birth in a facility
|Women using a modern contraceptive method
|Adults aged 12-49 with HIV/AIDS
|Facilities with electricity
|Facilities with water
|Lower-level health centers with obstetric and neonatal care available 24/7
|Facilities with oxytocin always in stock
|Facilities with at least one skilled attendant on staff
|Facilities with motorized transport available
|Higher-level health facilities with comprehensive obstetric and neonatal care available 24/7
|Facilities with magnesium sulfate always in stock