The United States Consul General, John Bray has said that health challenges in Nigeria are not always a result of limited access to facilities, but access to enough skilled professionals and quality services within those facilities.
Bray who spoke last week at Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) Initiative week-long meeting in Calabar, Cross River State noted that the initiative is helping reduce both maternal and neonatal mortality.
He said, “We will continue to support and encourage the Cross River State Government in its efforts as we look to expanding the program into other areas in Nigeria.”
The meeting which had the global team in attendance was organized by the Cross River State Government in partnership with USAID, brought together national and regional partners and key stakeholders to share updates on the progress of activities in Uganda and Zambia and guide inputs on expansion in Nigeria.
The SMGL is a five-year, $18 million USG initiative and is a public-private partnership that addresses the three primary delays associated with maternal and newborn health: the delay in seeking services, the delay in reaching care, and the delay in receiving high-quality care at a health facility.
In 2014, Nigeria became the third country to adopt the initiative after successes were reported by the program in Uganda and Zambia.
The U.S. Consul General, John Bray, USAID Acting Mission Director, Aler Grubbs, and the Governor of Cross River State, Prof. Benedict Ayade participated in the opening ceremony. SMGL team members worked together to provide solutions to problems, share lessons learned, and lay the groundwork for increased collaboration and technical assistance.
A woman dying from pregnancy and childbirth related complications is a major challenge in Africa and reducing maternal mortality has become a global priority. In Nigeria, the probability of a maternal death occurring is 1:13.
In partnership with host countries and non-governmental organizations, the U.S. Government has been working to not only reduce, but also end preventable maternal and newborn deaths globally.
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