Partnership for Transforming Health Systems
Health systems and public health
Nigeria has some of the greatest health challenges globally. As part of a wider initiative to reduce poverty and save lives, the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) funded the Partnership for Transforming Health Systems (PATHS2) programme in five states – Kaduna, Kano and Jigawa in the north, and Enugu and Lagos in the south.
PATHS2 focused on improving health services for some of Nigeria’s poorest families with an emphasis on maternal and child health. Our role in PATHS2 was to support communities to be able to make informed decisions about their healthcare needs and to hold local health providers to account for quality, affordable care. Our approach to community engagement had several strands:
- Working with local communities to share health information within their communities to improve knowledge and make it easier for them to adopt healthier behaviours
- Working with healthcare officials, to improve their service delivery and communications skills – all designed to make women feel more comfortable using health services
- Working with local media on “safe motherhood” campaigns such as radio announcements to increase knowledge of the key health issues.
Who else is involved
PATHS2 was led by Abt Associates. Partners included MannionDaniels, the Axios Foundation, and Options.
What was achieved
One of the most significant achievements facilitated by PATHS2 was the December 2015 enactment of the National Health Act. The law ensures steady funding for health services by requiring 1% of the country’s consolidated revenue fund to be dedicated to health care.
Other significant improvements include:
- Helping save more than 140,000 lives in Northern Nigeria by supporting a robust and resilient health system with improved access to and availability of quality maternal, newborn, and child health services
- Increasing deliveries by skilled birth attendants from 13% in 2009 to 48% in 2015
- The proportion of PATHS2 supported public health facilities with a defined list of essential drug supplies in stock at time of the visit grew from 4% in 2009 to 87.5% in 2016
- Increasing the percentage of the public who can spot significant, pregnancy-related health problems from 4% in 2012 to 26% in 2016.