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The objective of the study was to review the current state of policies and programs for attaining optimal maternal health in Lagos state, Nigeria. The methods consisted of in-depth interviews with key officials in the State as well as reviews of available health records. The results indicate high level commitment of the government towards achieving a reduction in
maternal mortality. Maternal mortality ratio in Lagos state is below the national average. Nevertheless, the government has accorded the provision of maternal health a top priority and has made substantial allocations in the budget for its attainment. A maternal health advisory committee exists in the state, while antenatal care services are free to women within the public health sector. The state has also embarked on training of its workforce, while major infrastructural repairs in state public hospitals are ongoing. However, residual problems include the lack of access to services for women residing in hard to reach areas, rather uncoordinated inter hospital referral system, and women’s lack of information relating to maternal health. Attention to maternal health education and women’s empowerment would boost maternal health and reduce maternal mortality in Lagos state (Afr. J. Reprod. Health 2010; 14: 55-63).
Key words: Maternal mortality, Lagos state, maternal health, health policies, programs.