Reproductive Health

General living conditions including access to healthcare in Nigeria are still poor, with especially children and women more affected. Maternal, infant and under-five mortality rates are still unacceptably high in the country. The weakened healthcare system with low coverage of key maternal and child health interventions has resulted in the persistence of high disease burden and mortality. With accessibility to comprehensive reproductive health services such as family planning, safe pregnancy and delivery care and treatment and prevention of common ailments such as HIV and malaria during pregnancy, women are less likely to die in pregnancy, more likely to have healthier children and better able to balance their family and work life.

Child survival in Nigeria is affected by nutritional deficiencies and illnesses, particularly malaria, diarrhoeal diseases, acute respiratory infections (ARI), and vaccine preventable diseases (VPD), which account for the majority of morbidity and mortality in children. Government has adopted and implemented series of global initiatives aimed at promoting health of children, such as the Safe Motherhood Initiative and its follow-up Making Pregnancy Safer, Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI), and Integrated Management of Childhood Illnesses (IMCI). Others are Roll Back Malaria Initiative (RBM) and National Program on Immunization (NPI), the latter with a special emphasis on the eradication of poliomyelitis. Yet the impact of interventions in child survival to a large extent have not achieved as much as would have been expected despite the huge resources committed to national initiatives.

The Nigeria maternal mortality rate is among the highest in the world. Many women still dies as a result of pregnancy and child birth related complications. Also, for every woman who dies in childbirth, more others suffer debilitating complications and chronic ill health.  Infant and child mortality rates are unacceptably with about 1 out of 5 mortality before the age of five.  Reproductive health indices are also dismal; the modern contraceptive prevalence is very low at less than 10%, with a very low uptake of contraceptive services due to lack of sexual health information which also makes young people vulnerable to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unintended pregnancy. HIV/AIDS remains a major issue of concern among children, young people and women in Nigeria with average prevalence rate of 3% and an estimated 3.7 million Nigerians (mostly females) living with the virus. Overall life expectancy at birth is currently put at about 54 years; infant mortality rate is 86 per 1000 live birth while maternal mortality ratio is 840 per 100,000 live births. 

The organisation’s reproductive, maternal and child health interventions are meant to promote women’s health, child survival and a reduction in household spending on healthcare services through emphasis on prevention rather than curative. The LAPO Reproductive and MCH services include trainings, community and facility sensitisation, community based rapid testing services, community-facility referrals and linkages, and HIV/AIDS prevention and impact mitigation projects.