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Maternal and newborn health care. Baseline findings from Gombe State, Nigeria

by Professor Tanya Marchant

published 17 September 2013

Overall, the survey results present a picture of maternal and newborn health care in Gombe State that is comparable to other high mortality settings in sub-Saharan Africa.

Two-thirds of women access pregnancy care at least once but fewer than half have the recommended four visits, and the quality of care received was low when measured at the population level – due to frontline workers not providing appropriate counselling as well as to facilities not being fully equipped. Only around half of women were benefitting from any of the life saving interventions available to them in pregnancy. A much smaller number of women accessed facility based intra-partum care, fewer still had skilled attendance at birth.

There were large differences in the quality of health care that a frontline worker was able to deliver depending on her place of work, and on her knowledge of appropriate care.

The coverage of life saving intra-partum interventions that should reach all women when giving birth was low, particularly for those giving birth at home: if an increase in skilled attendance at birth could be realised however, there was indication that coverage of these interventions could increase dramatically.

Post partum and post natal care were almost completely absent in the State, being provided mainly to the least poor families. But even when post-partum or post-natal care interactions took place, they did not appear to be having a measurable effect on life saving behaviours in the first days after birth.

Poster: Evidence to improve maternal and enwborn health in Ethiopia, North East Nigeria and Uttar Pradesh, India


Marchant, T; (2013) Maternal and newborn health care. Baseline findings from Gombe State, Nigeria. Interactions between families and frontline workers (their frequency, quality, and equity), and coverage of interventions for mothers and newborns. Project Report. London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine


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Professor Tanya Marchant

IDEAS Principal Investigator and Professor

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