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Successful start of scaling up of MCH project Nigeria
Category: Population | By RFPD, 10-Jun-2013 | Viewed 3869  Comments 0
by Robert Zinser

In November 2012, the Maternal and Child Health Project Nigeria started, contributing to the area of focus on that topic of Rotary's Future Vision Program. This project is the first scaling up of the pilot project (2005- 2010) and doubles its impact by including another 10 hospitals in two additional states, FCT Abuja and Ondo, into the approach. Within the pilot project, a 60% reduction in maternal mortality and a 15% reduction in fetal mortality was achieved in 10 selected hospitals in Kano and Kaduna states. The scaling up is funded through contributions of Rotary Clubs and the Rotary Foundation ( 150,000) and co-funded by the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, BMZ, ( 350,000). The core of the project is a continuous data collection and analysis, including a benchmarking process leading to an improvement of maternal and newborn health by reducing the mortality and morbidity.

RFPD initiated and supports the scaling up project that is implemented by District 9125, German and Austrian clubs. This formula already proved to be successful in the pilot project. RFPD supported Clubs with seed money for the Matching Grants, and helped obtain cofunding and donations-in-kind such as birthing kits and mosquito nets. All of this is part of RFPD's work as a resource for the area of focus 'Maternal and Child Health, aiming at a sustainable reduction of maternal and newborn mortality.

Quality assurance is a core component in the comprehensive approach. It tackles the 3rd delay (delay in receiving adequate health care), making Nigeria a country with one of the highest maternal mortality ratios worldwide. By improving the quality of structure (e.g. providing necessary equipment to the hospitals) and the quality of process (e.g. training of health staff), maternal and newborn mortality can be significantly reduced (quality of outcome). In addition to improving the quality of care in health facilities, the comprehensive approach includes a broad awareness campaign with community dialogues, trainings of Traditional and Skilled Birth Attendants and collaboration with traditional rulers and women's groups. This all helps to reduce the 1st delay (delay in decision to seek care) and 2nd delay (delay in reaching care). In the fistula centers established in the pilot project, patients will further on be repaired.

The first review meeting of the scaling up project was held in April 2013. Midwives of all 20 selected hospitals in the four states,as well as doctors from the teaching hospitals, participated in this meeting. Dr Hadiza Galadanci coordinated the meeting, discussed the fivemain causes for maternal and fetal mortality with the participants, explaining ways to avoid or combat them. Other presentations and fruitful discussions supplemented the event. Review meetings will be held semi-annually, as done in the pilot project. 

RFPD offers advice and support to Clubs and Districts for replicating this lighthouse project in other countries with high maternal and newborn mortality ratios as well as for single interventions that are eligible within the Future Vision Program. For further information, visit the RFPD booth at the Convention in Lisbon, and attend the breakout sessions for 'Maternal and Child Health' and our websites www.rifpd.org and www.maternal-health.org.
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