The SMGL Initiative has just rounded up a one-week, global team-building meeting sponsored by the United States Agency for International Development in Calabar, Cross River State.
The SMGL is a five-year, $18m US government initiative is a public-private partnership that has its objectives as maternal and newborn health: the delay in seeking services, the delay in reaching care, and the delay in receiving high-quality care at a health facility.
Nigeria became the third country to adopt the initiative in 2014, after successes were reported by the programme in Uganda and Zambia.
The team building meeting was organised by the Cross River State government in partnership with USAID, 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.
John Bray, the US Consul General, Aler Grubbs, USAID acting Mission Director, and Benedict Ayade, the Governor of Cross River State, were present in the opening ceremony.
Following a statement issued by the US embassy in Nigeria, the SMGL team members would work together to provide solutions to problems, share lessons learnt from past experiences, and lay the groundwork for increased collaboration and technical assistance.
â€œHealth 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.
â€œSaving Mothers, Giving Life Initiative is helping to reduce both maternal and neonatal mortality. We will continue to support and encourage the Cross River State Government in its efforts as we look to expanding the programme into other areas in Nigeria,â€ Bray said.
Including that a woman dying from pregnancy and childbirth-related complications is one of the major challenges in Africa and reducing maternal mortality has become a global priority.
it said: â€œIn Nigeria, the probability of a maternal death occurring is oneÂ to 13. In partnership with host countries and non-governmental organisations, the US government has been working to not only reduce, but also end preventable maternal and newborn deaths globally,â€.