MamaYe provides MNH benchmarks and lesson
Two stark statistics from Nigeria are “Each day in Nigeria, 109 women lose their lives due to pregnancy-related issues and 660 newborns die from preventable causes.” MamaYe has a clear goal to improve it by making “Life-saving change for mothers and babies in Nigeria.” It’s one of six countries in the Evidence for Action (E4A) programme, E4A-MamaYe. The other five are Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Sierra Leone and Tanzania. The initiative aims to use better information, advocacy and accountability to save lives. It’s financed by the Gates Foundation.
Five project reports are published in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. They describe accountability arrangements and publicise E4A-MamaYe experiences and achievements in Maternal and Neonatal Health (MNH) that are essential to achieve Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3.
The first paper provides a review of the MNH accountability mechanisms in sub-Saharan Africa that have been implemented and assessed. It offers a conceptual framework to guide discussion.
The second paper discusses political accountability using a review of three global and regional mechanisms used to monitor and track MNH progress. It draws on how global and regional commitments have impacted national responses, as shown in the E4A countries.
The third paper deals with performance and accountability of Maternal Death Surveillance and Response (MDSR) systems, especially response and action components. It includes describe describes the E4A-MamaYe country experiences in implementing MDSR systems.
The fourth paper sets out a case study on a pilot for social accountability to improve MNH services in Ghana. The project uses scorecards and engaging stakeholders in districts.
The fifth paper provides another case study on how evidence supported a campaign on budget advocacy in Sierra Leone. It advocates financial and budget monitoring to ensure financial commitments for MNH are sustained.
MDSR Technical Guidance proposes several actions to increase effectiveness and sustainability. They include:
- A supportive institutional culture fostering a learning environment
- Multidisciplinary teams at different health system levels to review, communicate and act on findings
- Leadership and commitment of government and healthcare staff
- Aggregate data from facility and community to higher levels to provide a deeper understanding of gaps in care quality and system-wide challenges
- Recognising that local and less resource-intensive solutions can save lives.
These are relevant for Africa’s eHealth governance. An example is Nigeria’s Commission on Information and Accountability (COIA) tracking progress on maternal and child health. It reviews MNH features such as the latest MNH numbers, their variations between urban and rural areas, and impact of education on young women using contraception. There’s much more evidence on MamYe’s progress that provide benchmarks and lessons for all Africa.