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Thought Leadership Series

The need to provide mental health support for pregnant women in Nigeria

I struggled with feelings of anxiety and depression for nine months during my first pregnancy in 2016. I spoke with my gynaecologist several times about my different mood swings, but he felt I should be excited because I was having a baby. Sometimes I felt happy about having a baby, but most times I felt […]

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Torchlight Africa

How rechargeable tricycles are saving pregnant mothers and newborns in rural Zimbabwe.

By Farai Shawn Matiashe (Lead Writer) In Zana 3, Wedza District, 131 kilometres south of Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, Talent Zindi, 21, a subsistence farmer, is inspecting the ear flowers of a maize plant in her field. She will be harvesting her maize crop in two weeks. Zindi says the harvest season reminds her […]

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Torchlight Series

How a Collaborative Approach to Maternal Care is Saving the Lives of Mothers in Kaduna State

In Nigeria, systemic gaps in the quality of maternal care includes the lack of life-saving medical equipment, the low adoption of the Maternal and Perinatal Death Surveillance and Response (MPDSR) in facilities, and the ineffectiveness of MPDSR platforms and their inability to translate to better quality of care. These are challenges that must be addressed […]

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Press Release

Solutions-focused photo exhibition amplifies maternal health interventions

26 March 2021 | Abuja, Nigeria – Nigeria Health Watch featured in a first of its kind photo exhibition tagged “Positive Deviance”. The photo exhibition was solutions journalism-inspired. Solutions Journalism tells the stories of how people are responding to social problems with the same energy that journalists put into telling stories about the problems. The […]

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Torchlight Series

OMOMi is leveraging digital technology to provide women with easy access to quality maternal health care

When asked whether gender issues contribute to Nigeria’s poor maternal mortality indices, Onyedikachi Nwizu, Program Officer for the OMOMi app, paused. As a single pregnant woman, she chose her words carefully, to reflect her personal experience. “Many times when I went for antenatal clinic, I had to deal with a number of ‘Assistant Jesuses’ passing […]

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Torchlight Series

Heart and Grit: Girl Child Concerns is empowering adolescent girls to offer maternal health services in Borno State

“Educate a boy, and you educate an individual. Educate a girl, and you educate a community.” — Adelaide Hoodless In Nigeria, maternal health care is fragmented, so maternal health services are provided by various service providers in the public sector, private sector, informal providers and even religious institutions. In communities, culture and tradition influence maternal health-seeking behaviour […]

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Torchlight Africa

Hope from the Pulpit: The church easing transport woes for Malawi’s riverine pregnant women

By Rabson Kondowe and Feston Malekezo (Lead Writers) “I thought I was going to die, I nearly gave birth on a ship,” Lucy Chirambo said somberly. It was in the wee hours of a cold July in 2016 when Chirambo started showing labour signs. Without hesitation, her husband hastily took her to Tchalo Health Centre, […]

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Thought Leadership Series

“I decided to be pregnant with my wife” – Men as nurturers for healthy pregnancy and delivery

Aloysius Chidiebere Ugwu (Lead Writer) In January 2020, in the middle of the dry season known as harmattan in Nigeria, I was in Kano state performing my duties as a health advocate when I received news from my wife which redefined my plans for the next nine months. “Babe, I think my body is changing, […]

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Torchlight Series

RICOM3 helps Nigerian women take ownership of their pregnancy journey; Here’s how

By Dr. Chibugo Okoli (Guest Writer) The maternal mortality ratio in Nigeria is estimated at 512 per 100,000 live births whilst non-communicable diseases (NCDs) accounted for 27% of total deaths in 2008. The Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) has demonstrated its commitment to address NCDs via the creation of an NCDs division, the development of […]

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Thought Leadership Series

Why Are Women Dying While Giving Birth in Nigeria?; Recommendations for Improved Outcomes

We have heard the statistics countless times. Nigeria accounts for nearly 20% of global maternal deaths according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). According to the Nigeria Demographic Health Survey 2018, only a mere 39% of live births occur in health facilities, with 61% of births taking place outside of a health facility. According to […]

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Thought Leadership Series

Mental Health, a Silent Burden for Women #GivingBirthInNigeria

Adeona (not real name) narrates the mental breakdown she suffered when carrying and delivering her fourth and last child. She was sick throughout her pregnancy. And yet her husband expected her to function normally as a wife and mother and fully support the family. Through the morning sickness, vomiting and complications of her pregnancy she […]

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Torchlight Series

Taking ownership: Women in Jigawa community fund emergency transportation for pregnant women

“My husband and I have always known that I would deliver at the hospital,” says Azeema Hussaini, 25, while sitting on a bed in a muddy two-room house, nursing her three-week-old daughter, Maisara, whom she gave birth to at the General Hospital Jahun, Jigawa State. The mother of three had her previous deliveries at the […]

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Torchlight Series

Enugu’s free maternal programme is providing better health for rural women and children

“This article was produced in collaboration with Maternal Figures, a database of maternal health interventions implemented in Nigeria.” At Amorji Nike Primary Healthcare Centre [PHC] in Enugu East local government council, more than a dozen women with their children wrapped in their arms sit patiently in a waiting room at the premises. The women came […]

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Torchlight Series

Public-Private Partnerships can help Nigerian hospitals improve maternal health; Here’s how

By Taiwo Adebulu (Lead Writer) “This article was produced in collaboration with Maternal Figures, a database of maternal health interventions implemented in Nigeria.” Esther is pregnant and walked into the Radiodiagnostic centre at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute Metta, Lagos State.  “Ultrasound?” one of the nurses asked as soon as she sat. She nodded […]