When it comes to inaccessibility to good quality health care services in Nigeria, the distributions are surprisingly equitable! This probably explains why many Nigerians with financial resources go abroad on medical tourism, while those who cannot afford medical tourism resign to fate. But, this is a story of change.
April 11th is the International Day of Maternal Health and Rights. For those who have experienced it, pregnant women suffer disrespect and many forms of abuse in the hands of healthcare providers. Apart from a charter that seeks to protect pregnant women from abuse, Yelwa too took an action to end disrespectful attitudes towards pregnant women.
The MamaYe campaign is gradually becoming a movement of people taking action to help improve the lives of pregnant women and newborns in their communities. This story shows how people connect for development.
Across Nigeria, journalists are publishing reports that are re-shaping maternal and newborn health issues. We contribute to their efforts through trainings that can make their reporting more impactful.
More people are taking action to demand maternal and newborn health rights from the government. We have seen success in certain states in Nigeria where the government is allocating more than 15% of their total budget to health. We take a look at how to work more to replicate the success in one state in another.
Esther Agbon is a development activist with over 15 years experience in development covering areas such as Maternal and Child Health, Reproductive Health and HIV/AIDS, Women’s Rights, Enterprise Development, Business Management and Consulting. She has a Bachelors Degree in Agriculture and a Master of Project Development and Implementation from the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. She also has a Diploma in Gender Poverty and Employment from the International Labour Organization.
Esther is an experienced trainer on Human Rights Based Approach, Gender, HIV/AIDS, Leadership, Budget Tracking and Advocacy, Teambuilding, Entrepreneurship and Enterprise Development, Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation and Project Management.
Esther worked for Support and Training Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), an IFC/World Bank Project for four years (2000 -2004) providing business development services to Medium, Small and Micro enterprises. She also worked for ActionAid Nigeria for 10 years under different capacities, as Programme Advisor- Reproductive Health and Programme Coordinator, Governance.
Presently Esther is the Health Budget Advocacy Advisor with Evidence for Action, Nigeria. Her role involves designing and implementing Public Service Accountability and Advocacy programmes on Health. Esther is also involved in strengthening capacity of community actors to advocate for their right to health and she works with government at all levels to influence the review and adoption of policies that facilitate equitable access to health services.