Nigeria’s estimated 50,000 maternal deaths account for a staggering 14% of the world’s annual total — a crisis that is not covered adequately in the local media.
Mobile blood banks, free health care for mothers and newborns in some Nigerian states, and community health care centers in underserved regions have led to noticeable reductions in maternal deaths. But to date, there has been no systematic assessment of the efficacy of any given health intervention, and analysis is complicated by the fact that the statistics are scattered and often undercount actual deaths.
My colleague and I decided to build a database of maternal health interventions in the country in a bid to improve the advocacy and evidence gathering for these interventions. The database contains funding information, reports, evaluation reports and more.
The database is a research tool for journalists to help them in their reporting on maternal health interventions. With more of these stories, citizens will be able to put government to tasks on ending the maternal health crisis in the country.
The database is live at maternalfigures.com.
For my part, I built the Airtable database that the powers the website and managed the product development process: working with Code for Africa's team of designers and developers over weekly sprints. In addition, I led webinars on maternal health data with journalists in the country using the opportunity to also do design research.
We hope for Maternal Figures to be a collaborative resource for journalists in the country, and are open to novel uses of our database: for example, machine learning to determine which interventions are best suited to demographics on a local government level.
This work was made possible with funding from the Brown Institute for Media Innovation.