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U.S. to expand $18m Saving Mothers, Giving Life initiative in Nigeria- Envoy



The U.S. Consul General, John Bray says the U.S will continue to support, encourage and expand its Saving Mothers, Giving Life (SMGL) initiative aimed at reducing maternal and neonatal mortality in Nigeria.

A statement by the information unit, U.S. Embassy, on Monday in Abuja, quoted Bray as saying this at SMGL global team-building meeting in Calabar, Cross River.

The meeting was organised by the Cross River Government in partnership with United States Agency for International Development (USAID).

“Health challenges in Nigeria are not always a result of limited access to facilities, but access to enough skilled professionals and quality services within those facilities.

“Saving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative is helping reduce both maternal and neonatal mortality.

“We will continue to support and encourage the Cross River government in its efforts as we look to expanding the programme into other areas in Nigeria.”

According to him, the project is U.S. government initiative for a period of five years at a cost of 18 million dollar.

Bray said that SMGL was a public-private partnership aimed at addressing three primary delays associated with maternal and newborn health.

“The delays are in seeking services, in reaching care, and in receiving high-quality care at a health facility.

“A woman dying from pregnancy and childbirth related complications is a major challenge in Africa and reducing maternal mortality has become a global priority,’’Bray said.

The envoy said that “the probability of a maternal death occurring is 1:13 in Nigeria’’.

He said that U.S. had been working in partnership with host countries and non-governmental organisations to reduce and put an end to preventable maternal and newborn deaths globally.

He recalled that Nigeria in 2014 became the third country to adopt the initiative after successes were reported by the programme in Uganda and Zambia.

He said the initiative brought together national and regional partners and key stakeholders to share updates on the progress of activities in Uganda and Zambia and guide inputs on expansion in Nigeria.

Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River, Bray, and USAID acting Mission Director, Aler Grubbs participated in the opening ceremony.

Edited by: Akin Makanjuola/Morayo Omolade

Aregbeshola Isaac

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