The Nigerian Council of Health (NCH), a decision-making body that establishes health service strategies for all levels of governance, rarely receives presentations from non-governmental organizations. At the request of Kano state government, the NCH heard recently from the MacArthur-supported Population Council about research on "task-shifting" to treat eclampsia. The Council's research may lead to an important policy change that would allow Community Health Extension Workers and Community Health Officers at the primary care level to administer magnesium sulfate to patients with severe pre-eclampsia and eclampsia before referral, which could reduce maternal and peri-natal mortality due to eclampsia significantly. Eclampsia accounts for between 31 and 40 percent of maternal deaths in most rural facilities across northern Nigeria.

Population & Reproductive Health, Africa, Health, Nigeria, Population