Archive for July, 2012

The maternal and child health initiatives that are being piloted by PATHS2 together with local communities  have been receiving positive coverage in the Nigerian media.

In July, both the Vanguard and The Guardian Nigeria carried articles that discuss current health challenges and report positive change brought about by the PATHS2 program.

Read the The Guardian Nigeria article on improvements in maternal and child health in Lagos here.

Read the Vanguard article on health worker recruitment in Enugu here.


In Jigawa, a conservative predominantly Muslim state in Northern Nigeria, maternal mortality rates are atrociously high. PATHS2, a program funded by DFID and implemented by a consortium of organisations including MannionDaniels, works in Jigawa to promote safe motherhood.

Child spacing is a key activity, as described in Jane Dreaper’s BBC article - ‘I want to stop giving birth’ after nine pregnancies.

The UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation launch the FP Summit in London today (July 11th), and Nigeria is one of the 69 focus countries.

This week, the UK Department for International Development (DFID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation are hosting the Family Planning Summit in London.  As heads of state, civil society and the private sector are gathering in London for the Summit, the aim is to increase the supply of contraceptives for 120 million women.  The Summit is focused on  mobilising resources and support for FP.

But who currently provides support to family planning, how much, and based on which policies?  MannionDaniels worked closesly with Countdown 2015 Europe to develop a methodology for tracking European donors’ policy and funding for reproductive health and family planning (see  Using data collected from Countdown 2015 Europe partners in their national countries, we produced an overall policy and funding trends paper that examined recent European support to FP and RH.  The main points to emerge were:

(1) European donors remain committed to FP/RH, even within a tense economic climate and with most goverments having shifted to a new political (mostly centre-right) orientation after elections in the past two years.  At the same time, there has been an increasing focus on achieving results and demonstrating impact of official development assistance.

(2) Four very interesting recent initiatives in support of FP/RH are worth supporting and following closely:  The 2010 Muskoka Initiative on Maternal, Newborn and Child Health; the UN Global Strategy for Women and Children’s Health; the West African Family Planning conference held in Ougadougou (early 2011); and the FP Summit in London in July 2012.

(3) European donor core funding to UNFPA increased by 10% between 2009 and 2010.  Due to the relative ease of measuring this figure, it often becomes a proxy indicator for donors’ financial commitment to FP/RH.

(4) General lack of transparency on specific funding for RP/RH, especially through bilateral support, remains a major challenge.

Read the report in full here:

European support to Family Planning and Reproductive Health



MannionDaniels is supporting the Ministries of Health of South-Central Somalia, Puntland-Somalia and Somaliland to develop their first National Health Strategic Plans.  This work is a good opportunity for MannionDaniels to combine its expertise in post-conflict development and health sector planning.  Working closely with the three Ministries, we are producing strategies that will help all stakeholders focus their support on evidence-based health priorities.

Health indicators in the three zones of Somalia are dire:  under-5 mortality is around 200/1000 live births, infant mortality is estimated at 110/1000 live births.  There has been little or no progress in reducing these in the last two decades.  Public expenditure on health is less than US$ 2 per person per year; there is only 1 doctor for every 40,000 people.  External development support to Somalia is increasing, but not all is targeting diseases that are the major causes of ill health.  There is also room for better coordination of external support.

The MannionDaniels team are working closely with the MOHs’ Planning Task Forces, focusing the National Health Strategic Plans to address health needs of the population based on evidence, and defining long-term strategies for transforming the health sector from an emergency-response system.  The team of 5 MannionDaniels staff and consultants are currently in Hargeisa, Garowe and Mogadishu, with the work continuing until the end of July, supported by WHO.