MacArthur Awards $800,000 to Reduce Maternal Mortality and Morbidity in Nigeria
August 1, 2006 | Press Release | Population & Reproductive Health

MacArthur announced two grants totaling $800,000 in support of efforts to reduce maternal mortality and morbidity in Nigeria.  These grants will be used to train healthcare providers, including nurse-midwives, and to provide health facilities with basic supplies.

“More than half a million women die each year around the world from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth,” said MacArthur President Jonathan Fanton.  “Fortunately, most of these deaths are preventable.  Health professionals need better training, basic supplies, and community support.  MacArthur is committed to making pregnancy and delivery safer for women in Nigeria and around the world.”

Approximately 54,000 Nigerian women die in pregnancy and childbirth each year, an average of 800 deaths for every 100,000 live births.  Nigeria accounts for ten percent of global maternal mortality.  Maternal mortality in Nigeria is often the result of the lack of available and affordable care by a trained and skilled birth attendant during the baby's delivery.  Women who want to go to modern health facilities may be barred from doing so by a lack of affordable transportation; even women who visit modern health facilities often face difficulties due to the shortage of basic supplies in many hospitals. 

A grant of $400,000 over three years will go to Pathfinder International to implement a model project for reducing maternal mortality and morbidity.  Pathfinder will continue its efforts to train birth attendants and nurse midwives and will equip three healthcare facilities with basic equipment.  Pathfinder will also try to mobilize community support to organize a transport system for women in need.  Funds will also be used to prepare a strategy for replicating the model nationwide. 

Ipas will receive a grant of $400,000 over three years to increase the number of nurse-midwives and clinical instructors from Nigerian schools of midwifery trained in post-abortion care.  Ipas will also pilot a post-abortion care training program in select states.  These measures will establish a core team of trainers who can then train other healthcare providers. 

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