Mazan Daga and adapted care for better maternal health in Niger
Despite the sustained efforts of the State of Niger and its development partners, maternal health remains precarious in Niger. According to the 2012 Demographic and Health Survey, the maternal mortality rate is 535 deaths per 100,000 live births. Like the husbands’ schools, an initiative to involve men in maternal health in Niger, it is increasingly recognized that sharing social roles between men and women can help reverse this trend.
This project is based on the Mazan Daga concept (which means “bold or forward-thinking men” in the Hausa language) and aims to implement a model that combines the promotion of supportive male roles, capacity building and female awareness. The ultimate goal is to improve maternal health through a complementary model of group prenatal and postnatal consultations and a participatory approach involving communities, husbands, social advisors and mothers-in-law first. The goal is to train and sensitize pregnant women, while creating an enabling environment for their reproductive development and empowerment, with the involvement of men and the community at large. This integrated model also aims to change social norms, beliefs and practices that are detrimental to women’s enjoyment of their reproductive health rights.
Over 36 months, this project will take place in the Maradi region, which has the most maternal health deficits in Niger. It will be coordinated by the Groupe de Recherche et d’Action pour le Développement (GRADE Africa), which will work with the Association des Sage-Femmes du Niger and the Ministère de la Santé Publique, de la Population et des Affaires Sociales of Niger.