Advocacy for free maternal and child health care in Nigeria--Results and outcomes

Health Policy. 2011 Feb;99(2):131-8. doi: 10.1016/j.healthpol.2010.07.013. Epub 2010 Aug 19.


The study was designed to determine the outcome of an advocacy program aimed at implementing a policy of free maternal and child health (MCH) services in Nigeria. The team conducted a situational analysis on costing of MCH services, and used the results to conduct public health education and advocacy. Advocacy consisted of public presentation on MCH to high-level policymakers, dissemination of situational analysis report, and media publicity. The implementation of free MCH services at national and sub-national levels was assessed 3 years after. The results showed that the number of States offering comprehensive free MCH services increased from four to nine; the States offering partially free MCH services increased from 11 to 14 (8.1% increase); while those not offering any form of free treatment decreased from 22 to 14 (21.7% decrease). We conclude that advocacy and public health education is effective in increasing the commitment of policymakers to provide resources for implementing evidence-based maternal and child health services in Nigeria.

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Child Health Services / economics*
  • Child Welfare
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Health Policy*
  • Health Services Accessibility*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant Mortality
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Maternal Health Services / economics*
  • Maternal Mortality
  • Maternal Welfare
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Patient Advocacy*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires