It is women and children across developing countries who suffer most from the shocks and stresses to health systems. In South Sudan — a country ravaged by conflicts — limited infrastructure, lack of health information, and severe shortages of health personnel contribute to high levels of maternal and child mortality. Outbreaks of infectious disease and epidemics have similar consequences — the impact of Ebola on maternal and child health in West Africa is one example.
Innovative interventions to improve maternal and child health in Nigeria were the focus of a workshop in Abuja on September 21, 2016. Nigeria has the second highest absolute number of maternal deaths and perinatal deaths in the world, contributing to approximately 15% of all maternal deaths worldwide.
Three years ago, Susana Martinez-Restrepo, a young Colombian researcher finishing her PhD studies, was invited to join and coordinate a regional project titled: Beyond Social Protection: Labour Markets, Entrepreneurship, and Gender Equality. Supported by the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), the project uses evidence to enhance the impact of social protection programs for the most vulnerable, and in particular, women.