Nigeria: Our Impact

{Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu}Photo Credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu

In Nigeria in 2014, MSH's PLAN-Health program assisted two state governments in launching the first community-based health insurance plan to cover small-scale business owners, farmers, traders, artisans, and others. PLAN-Health is funded by PEPFAR through USAID and supports Nigeria's goal of increasing coverage from 10 to 30 percent by 2015.

 {Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu - Niger State, Nigeria}A Minna hospital employee checks a blood sample for HIV.Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu - Niger State, Nigeria

To increase country ownership and sustainability of laboratory services and programs, the USAID-funded Prevention Organizational Systems AIDS Care and Treatment (Pro-ACT) project, led by MSH, identified the need to develop the program leadership and management capacity of local medical laboratory associations in Nigeria. 

 {Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu}Nigeria.Photo credit: Gwenn Dubourthoumieu

Despite Nigeria’s growing economy and significant cadre of well-trained health providers, Nigerian mothers and their newborns continue to die during and directly after childbirth at an alarming rate. According to a 2013 Demographic and Health Survey, Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate is one of the highest in the world—576 deaths for every 100,000 live births—and 37 out of every 1,000 babies die as newborns.

 {Photo credit: Samuel Edet/MSH} A large crowd observes the festivities.Photo credit: Samuel Edet/MSH

There is no way we can achieve the presidential mandate of 30 percent health coverage by 2015 without tapping into Nigeria’s informal sector. Community-Based Health Insurance (CBHI) is therefore a veritable tool to ensure wider coverage, increased ownership, and an entrenched culture of health insurance among the Nigerian public. 

{Photo credit: Jessica Charles/MSH, Nigeria.}Photo credit: Jessica Charles/MSH, Nigeria.

In Nigeria, 17.5 million children are orphans or vulnerable children; 2.5 million of these children are AIDS orphans. Although it is customary in Nigeria for extended family and community members to care for orphans and vulnerable children (OVC), the capacity and resources of these individuals and households have been overextended by the growing number of OVC and the complexity of their needs. "For me, it’s about saving a generation from HIV, and that’s exactly what we’ve been doing," says Obialunamma ("Oby") Onoh, associate director for monitoring and evaluation (M&E) of the Community-Based Support for Orphans and Vulnerable Children in Nigeria (CUBS) project. Funded by PEPFAR through USAID and led by MSH, the CUBS Project has provided care and support to children orphaned by AIDS and vulnerable children in 11 of Nigeria’s 36 states.

{Photo credit: Jessica Charles/MSH, Nigeria.}Photo credit: Jessica Charles/MSH, Nigeria.

Gender-related stereotypes, gender profiling, and inequalities between men and women reduce the impact of public health programs. In Nigeria, for example, many women are excluded from making decisions related to their families’ health and from accessing health services in their communities. These exclusions are due to patriarchal norms, often exacerbated by purdah, a religious and social practice that requires women to cover most parts of their bodies and avoid areas frequented by men.

 {Photo credit: Francis Duru/MSH.}After being widowed in 2008, CUBS helped Bridget Egesi start a pharmacy so she could earn an income to suport her five children.Photo credit: Francis Duru/MSH.

Forty-year-old Bridget Egesi has been the sole caretaker of her five children since her husband’s death in 2008. Until recently, Bridget pieced together an income by washing laundry, cleaning her neighbors’ cars, and working as a security guard.

 {Photo credit: Augustine Igwe/MSH.}Elizabeth Osesi was an orphan, struggling to make ends meet, when CUBS helped her start her own business so she could earn an income to support herself and her brother.Photo credit: Augustine Igwe/MSH.

Elizabeth Osesi’s parents were peasant farmers in Delta State, Nigeria. Watching her mother and father struggle to meet their family’s basic needs, Elizabeth dreamt of finishing secondary school, learning a trade, and earning money to support her family. But, in 1999, Elizabeth’s father died and, five years later, her mother passed away as well.  Elizabeth, just 15 at the time, was left alone to care for herself and her younger brother.  When they could not pay the fees, the siblings were soon forced to leave school. 

Abiodun Awosusi.

Endorsed by global stakeholders like the World Health Organization (WHO), World Bank, UN General Assembly, and African Ministers of Health and Finance, universal health coverage (UHC) is gathering momentum in the post-2015 health development agenda. As countries and international organizations consider how to address maternal and child mortality, unmet need for family planning, and other poor health indicators and outcomes, UHC is seen as a way to help countries have the mechanisms needed to increase access to lifesaving, quality care.

 {Photo by Akintunde Akinleye, courtesy of Photoshare}Nigerian woman.Photo by Akintunde Akinleye, courtesy of Photoshare

Management Sciences for Health’s Nigeria Program to build Leadership and Accountability in Nigeria's Health System (PLAN-Health) supported the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Health and Human Services Secretariat of the Health Planning, Research and Statistics department to develop an eHealth policy. The eHealth policy is a set of principles and actions to guide implementation of healthcare practices supported by electronic processes and communication, including the use of health applications on mobile phones.

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