How has publi health management of maternal and child health evolved in recent times?
The effectiveness of Maternal and child health is basically pivoted on prevailing systems, organisational structure and some other capacities that ensures that needed services to both mother and child are delivered adequately, efficiently and effectively. Public health management in area of maternal and child health ensures that these desires are in place. In recent times, there has been tremendous improvement in ensuring a significant increase in efficiency and effectiveness of health care delivery and improvement of indices within the maternal and child space. Some of these include increase in finance, education and awareness, using technology to ensure that more people are reached with relevant information, more efficiently and at a faster rate.
What more can be done to strengthen health systems in these times to improve quality of care?
WHO framework describes health systems with six core components; Service delivery, Health Workforce, Health information system, Access to essential medicines/technology, Financing, Leadership/governance. These are great tools in strategizing and strengthening global public health system indices. However, based on my experience from community health involvement, I observed that Family and community involvement plays a huge part in improving health system. Creating and strengthening a family and community bond system would be an important component in improving quality of care. A good family supporting system will be a foundation for any health system to function properly. The first participant to detect any anomalies in any immediate circle is the family. Quite a significant improvement has been achieved in recent times, but more work needs to be done. In order to strengthen health system and improve quality care, the six core components of health system by WHO can be infused with the “Strengthen of family and community bond system”. This can be achieved if related parastatals work together with locals to educate, establish and harness with each community to promote physical and online awareness on how children, partners and family members can be taught to identify basic health issues and to apply first aid emergency care before immediate members gets to appropriate health facilities.
What are the roles of the private-led organisations like yours in the public health management of both maternal and child health?
Professional private-led organizations have been proven to be more effective in health care delivery. Our role in public health management of both maternal and child health is to effectively provide professional and timely health care. We make health care delivery a local matter, which is a way to efficiently reach the places where these health services are required. We understand the situations and can proffer solutions based on our professionalism and experience. As an organization, that aims to effect change in reducing the high maternal and child mortality rate in Nigeria, our mission has been to bridge the gap between pregnant women, new moms and partners, and the needed health care service that is delivered by trained professionals like Community Midwives. Within the period of establishment, we have reached over 4000 pregnant women and new mothers physically and online. We have worked in partnership with different Institutions and Governments parastatals to achieve our goal, and this is still ongoing.
What is working in the public heath space and what is not as regards maternal health?
Working within the public health space over the last 10 years has enabled us to see clearly the challenges facing our women and their children. We have been able to identify the various reasons why they sometimes make the poor decisions they do. We have discovered that a number of these challenges are treatable if the Public Health Management system is properly put in place to tackle them. More importantly, we have realized that Government needs to do more in partnering with the private sector in delivering the desired goals at the very local level. Family bonding and participation in the lives of new mothers and pregnant women will also go a long way in improving indices of maternal and child mortality. Apart from strengthening bonds in families and communities, the Inclusion of disabled pregnant women and new mothers should be factored into policies. This will enable them enjoy access to needed health care without any form of prejudice or stigmatization.