Review of Policies and Programs for Reducing Maternal Mortality and Promoting Maternal Health in Cross River State, Nigeria
The study was designed to determine the status of maternal health in Cross River State, a state in the Niger-Delta region of Nigeria with high rate of maternal mortality. The study consisted of analysis of clinical data, desk reviews of published and unpublished materials and interviews with policymakers and service providers. The results show that although 75.6% of pregnant women in the state attend at least one antenatal visit, only 34.8% are attended to by skilled birth attendants when in labour. Hospital based maternal mortality rate in the state over 11 years (1999-2009) averaged 1,513.4 per 100,000 live births. Human resources for health are 12 Doctors and 47.4 Nurse/midwives per 100,000 of the population. Obstetrics hemorrhage remains the most common cause of maternal mortality, while type III delay is the leading social cause of death. The state has relevant policies that address maternal health such as Free Maternal and Child Health and the national Midwives Service Scheme. However, budgetary allocation for maternal health is small. Deliberate efforts must be made to increase allocation and improve political commitment to reduce the high rate of maternal mortality in Cross River State (Afr. J. Reprod. Health 2010; 14: 37-42).
Key words: Maternal Mortality, Cross River State, Nigeria, Policies, Programs, Free Maternal Health Services.
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