The availability and quality of Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care in Kwara State, Nigeria

The Centre for Maternal and Newborn Health has supported capacity strengthening in Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care and quality improvement in Kwara State, Nigeria since 2015, in partnership with Johnson & Johnson. The achievements and gains made through this work are now being expanded into a scale-up programme that will run from March 2018 to July 2020. This expansion project will consolidate the achievements of our existing work which has taken place in 21 healthcare facilities across 7 local government areas (LGAs), as well as extending and scaling up these interventions to include another 27 healthcare facilities in 9 additional LGAs. By the end of the programme, all 16 LGAs in Kwara will have been supported to provide quality emergency obstetric and early newborn care services. We are delighted to continue our partnership with Johnson & Johnson to deliver this project, and to work in partnership with the WellBeing Foundation Nigeria on the communications components.

Brief background
In Kwara State, there is a significant gap in basic emergency obstetric and newborn care (BEmONC) availability in primary and secondary health care facilities. A study conducted in 2012 evaluated the levels of Emergency Obstetric Care (EmOC&NC) signal functions in six of the 16 LGAs of Kwara State and found that none of the 182 public sector health facilities evaluated met the UN standards to be designated as a BEmONC facility. However, 4 facilities (2.2%) met the standard for a Comprehensive Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (CEmONC) facility. According to UN standards, a health centre or hospital must have performed each of the six or eight signal functions at least once within the past three months to be classified as either BEmONC or CEmONC facility.

The Kwara state expansion programme consists of three strands. We will:

  1. Maintain activities in the 21 facilities across 7 LGAs where we have previously worked
  2. Build capacity in another 27 healthcare facilities across 9 additional LGAs to provide quality emergency obstetric and early newborn care
  3. Build capacity of healthcare workers in the University of IIorin Teaching Hospital (UITH) to support EmOC&NC interventions in Kwara state

These activities include:

  • delivering training in EmOC&NC, CEmOC&NC and quality improvement (QI)
  • setting up skills labs and training coordinators to facilitate regular sessions (which enable healthcare providers to continue to hone and practice their skills)
  • conducting implementation research to evaluate the effectiveness and impact of these capacity-building interventions