Nigerian Vision 20:20:20 program failing mothers in dire circumstances
“Nigeria stands out as one of the richest countries in Africa due to its oil resources, but ironically the country has one of the worst maternal death rates in the region, with more than 55% of its population living in relative poverty. According to the most recent Multi Indicator Cluster Survey (MICs) conducted by the National Bureau for Statistics in 2007, maternal mortality ratio is estimated at 800 deaths per 100,000 live births….
“In spite of the efforts mentioned above, there has been a constant increase in the rate of maternal death since 2000. Current statistics show that the situation is worsening, projecting a worrisome figure of 1,064 per 100,000 instead of the target of 176 by 2015.
“In order to tackle these challenges, health sector concerns have been incorporated into the long term development policy of the present government, which is called the Nigerian vision 20:20:20. The ministry of health, with support from donor agencies, has developed a number of multi-sectoral policies and frameworks to address the health sector challenges, key among them are: the National Reproductive Health Policy/Framework developed in 2001 and 2002, National Policy on Sustainable Development (2004), and the Birth Prepared Plan launched in 2005. As good as these policies may appear, what is lacking is the political will and the resources to implement them.”
“In order to address maternal mortality, the Nigerian government ought to commit 15 percent out of its total annual budget as a replacement for the current 5 percent being expended. Some interventions like the free ante natal services, midwifery service scheme and other safe motherhood interventions should be scaled up to benefit more rural communities; and there is urgent need to strengthen the data system in rural areas in order to generate accurate and reliable statistical information base necessary for planning. The ministry of health or its designated office should serve as a reference point for data on maternal health in Nigeria; the anti graft agencies must begin to check corrupt practices in the health sector which should be tied to result-based budget performance and erring officers or contractors should be punished in ways which adequately serve as deterrence against unacceptable bureaucratic practice.”
Sources:Searchlight Centre for Democracy and Development, June 2010, pg 4:
Mid Point Assessment of the Millennium Development Goals in Nigeria OSSAP MDGs, UNDP
National Mid term report of the monitoring of the Debt Relief Gains in Nigeria by GPCand CDD
National HIV/AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey (NARHS)