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National Conference on Maternal Newborn and Child Health

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Nigeria is one of six high burden countries that benefit from The Partnership Grant. As a result, the Nigerian Ministry of Health has been tasked with coordinating actions and partners in accelerating the reduction in maternal, newborn and child mortality. To accomplish this feat, the Ministry is supported by The Partnership secretariat and Country Support Working Group.

The Nigerian Federal Ministry of Health has fully taken on the challenge and held a National Conference on Maternal Newborn and Child Health, in Abuja in late March 2007. The Conference provided an opportunity to begin the long needed collaboration between the different MNCH stakeholders in the country. It was also an occasion to launch the national Nigeria Partnership for Maternal Newborn and Child Health. Special guest Secretary to the Government of the Federation acting as a representative of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria oversaw the ceremony.

The conference also had as objectives: to increase the profile of maternal, newborn and child health on the country’s development agenda, review the draft integrated maternal newborn and child health (IMNCH) strategy and build a consensus on the IMNCH strategy and its implementation.

Baby sleeping on his mother's lap

The conference gathered the State and Federal Ministries of Health, the First Lady of Kwara State, members of professional associations, training institutions, non governmental organizations, representatives of the bilateral and international partners and the Global PMNCH secretariat.

The conference included group work during which clusters representing the country's six geographical zones reviewed the National MNCH strategy based on the needs of their specified areas. Post group work discussions on findings yielded the following recommendations for the Nigeria PMNCH.

Recommendations

  1. Government should increase allocation of MNCH resources allocated at Federal, State and Local levels
  2. Primary health care staff salaries should be deducted at source and paid to them directly
  3. National MNCH strategy and state specific implementation plans to be developed with support from partners
  4. Ministry of Health to draft a support request and forward to the Global PMNCH Secretariat
  5. Appoint a Medical Officer with Public Health background at the Local Government Level
  6. To PMNCH (Secretariat and Partners) should provide full support should be provided to the process by assisting (technically and financially if possible) the work of the MNCH Technical Committee at country level

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