Nigerian Maternal Health and DKT’s Impact (2016 annual report)

Nigerian Maternal Health and DKT’s Impact (2016 annual report)
June 22, 2017 dkt


One of the devastating problems that have endured throughout history is the death of a woman during pregnancy and labour. This adversity is one that comes with so much disappointment and carries a huge burden of sorrow and heartbreak. The risk of maternal deaths is one that is aggressively damaging to so many households, terminating innocent lives and resulting in alarming unwarranted and preventable deaths.

Due to the crucial role a mother plays in the life of a child, Nigeria’s current MMR of 630 per 100,000 live births is indicative that critical aspects of the healthcare delivery system like financial and geographic access to care and good quality healthcare delivery services in Nigeria continue to fail women and children. According to a United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) report, some of the major causes of high MMR in Nigeria include haemorrhage, obstructed labour, puerperal infection, malaria and complicated abortions (WHO, 2012). Some researchers argue that hemorrhage has historically been over reported while puerperal sepsis is always under reported (Hanson, 2010). Puerperal sepsis or Postpartum metritis occurs after about 1% to 3% of vaginal births, and up to 27% of cesarean births.

There was a reported story in 2010 of a man called Mr Henry in Delta State Nigeria who lost his wife at child birth for their 6th child, which in this case was a set of twins. Both mother and babies died leaving the husband and 5 previous children in sorrow and pain. When a woman dies in childbirth or other maternal health complications, an average of 5 people are put in pain and sorrow. The father is sometimes incapable of raising the children and a good percentage of such children become unstable and problems to the society.

Another major issue that contributes greatly to mortality rate in Nigeria is Abortion. Since abortion is illegal in Nigeria, many women resort to unsafe abortion methods, leading to abortion-related complications and increasing mortality rates in the country.

In 2016, according to “Service Lifespan Impact” taken from MSI Impact 2 Calculator, DKT Nigeria successfully averted 4,420 maternal deaths; 686,433 unsafe abortions; 5,390 Child deaths; and 195,964 unwanted pregnancies through social marketing and distribution of Post Abortion Care products like Misofem (Misoprostol), family planning options like Sayana Press, Lydia IUD, Implants, Levofem (Oral contraceptive pills), and Postpill (Emergency contraceptive pill) thereby averting death of several Nigerian women, and keeping over 3 million Nigerian children stable.

We see a bright future for social marketing in improving the Nigerian health care system as it adapts and re-invents itself to adjust to ever-changing consumer preferences and technology, and we look forward to a decline in Nigeria MMR in the nearest future.


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