Improving Maternal and Child Health in Underserved Rural Areas of Nigeria through Implementation Research
Maternal and child health is a priority for Nigeria, but there are significant challenges and opportunities at state levels that influence efforts to reduce deaths. This project will contribute to government efforts in Delta State to improve delivery and use of maternal and child healthcare services in three marginalized rural communities. Maternal and child health concerns According to the World Health Organization, Nigeria's maternal mortality ratio in 2013 was 560, down from 610 in 2010 but still higher than sub-Saharan Africa's ratio of 510. Newborn and child mortality rates show high ratios as well. Structural barriers related to gender and poverty, knowledge, traditional cultural beliefs and practices, lack of social support networks, and health systems weaknesses influence governments' ability to promote better delivery and use of health care services in vulnerable rural communities. Project leadership The Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED), a Think Tank Initiative-funded organization, proposes to undertake this study and intervention program. The project team will conduct implementation research on innovative maternal and child health care approaches. They will also promote knowledge translation and scaling-up. This project will improve CPED's research and advocacy work on health systems research related to maternal and child health. CPED and its partners will recommend strategies to improve maternal and child health services in the study area's communities. Research support The Think Tank Initiative is a multi-funder program dedicated to strengthening independent policy research institutions, or think tanks, in developing countries. The program aims to enhance their ability to provide sound research that informs and influences policy. This project also has the support of the Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program, a seven-year $36 million initiative funded by Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada, Canada's International Development Research Centre, and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.