African Journal of Reproductive Health

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Saving the lives of women, newborns, and children: a formative study examining opportunities to improve reproductive, maternal, neonatal, and child health outcomes in Nigeria

Ejiro J. Otive-Igbuzor, Theresa Kaka Effa, Emily Teitsworth, Rufaro Kangai, Chantal Hildebrand, Diana Lara, Denise Dunning


Despite economic growth in Nigeria, maternal and infant mortality rates remain among the highest in the world. Civil society organisations (CSOs) play a critical role in ensuring governmental accountability to fulfil commitments that improve health outcomes for women, newborns, and children. This formative study was undertaken to identify: a) policy advocacy priorities b) advocacy challenges, and, c) opportunities for strategic advocacy. Methods consisted of a desk review of key reproductive, maternal, neonatal, child and adolescent health (RMNCAH) policies, surveys with CSOs working on RMNCAH, and key informants from non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and United Nations agencies. Participants identified the need for improved funding for RMNCAH policy implementation, increased civil society input in policy creation, and greater accountability. Increased investment in advocacy capacity building and accountability play an important role in improving health outcomes in Nigeria.

Keywords: Maternal health, Reproductive health, Infant mortality, Advocacy, Accountability, Civil Society

AJOL African Journals Online