The launching of Kano SEMCHIC

Nigeria makes up only 2% of the world’s population but accounts for 14% of the global maternal death burden. According to National Demographic Health Survey, 2018 Nigeria’s maternal mortality rate was 576 per 100,000, perinatal mortality rate 41 per 1000 live births, under 5 mortality rate 132 per 1000 live births [making up about 10% of global total per year], neonatal mortality rate was 38 per 1000 live births, (8% of the global neonatal deaths), while Kano maternal mortality rate was 1025/100,000 and child mortality rate was 100/1000.

In order to address these concerns, the Federal Government of Nigeria, through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NHCDA), declared a state of public health emergency on maternal and child health on April 8, 2019, which led to the establishment of the National Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention Centre (NEMCHIC).

In order to align with this giant step of the federal government and key into addressing these issues, the Kano State Ministry of Health, through the Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board, launched her version of the State Emergency Maternal and Child Health Intervention centre (SEMCHIC). The agency has the mission to promote awareness and ensure effective emergency response to maternal and child health mortality that addresses the delays to care through an integrated approach.

The state Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, stated that the centre will focus on four strategic objectives. They include: improving awareness and promotion of community involvement in interventions to reduce maternal and child mortality, strengthening coordination, leadership, and accountability in Reproductive, Maternal, Neonatal, Child and Adolescent Health + Nutrition, RMNCAH+N programs, increasing data visibility, quality and use for action at all levels, and improving prompt detection and responsiveness in the resolution of RMNCAH+N service gaps.

The centre, according to the executive secretary, Kano State Primary Health Care Management Board, Dr. Tijjani Hussaini, will prioritise 7 high-impact intervention areas. These are: community engagement framework for RMNCAH+N, maternal newborn and child emergency transport system, reach every ward with skilled birth attendants strategy, optimized immunization and RMNCAH+N sessions, quality of care strategy, community maternal perinatal death surveillance and response, and service quality utilisation accountability and tracking system with five key thematic areas, service delivery; logistics, finance; social mobilization and community engagement; and monitoring and evaluation and supportive supervision.

Now that the centre is launched, it is expected that these lofty objectives will be achieved to make Kano state a role model in reducing maternal and child mortality rate, hence making the vision of the national centre ‘A country where no woman or child dies from preventable causes’ a reality.

Sani Garba Mohammed,

Karaye, Kano state