DevComs announces 2015 Investigative Tour on Maternal Health

Development Communications (DevComs) Network, under the NOTAGAIN Campaign project supported by John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, calls for application from interested journalists to visit low-income communities and health facilities in Kaduna, Abuja, Jigawa and Lagos State to investigate challenges, opportunities and prospects of Maternal Health in Nigeria.

Nigeria still ranks 2nd among countries with highest maternal mortality after India despite the policies, strategies and international commitments signed from 2000 till date. Nigeria will end the Millennium Development Goals (MDG) 2015 with the status of still making progress conferred on us in a WHO publication titled: Trends in Maternal Mortality 1990 - 2013.

It is unclear what the future holds for the Sure-P Maternal and Child Health Programme, the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS) and other interventions aimed at improving maternal and child health situation in Nigeria, as the country proceeds beyond the 100 days of the present administration.

About this time last year the NOTAGAIN Project supported journalists to visit communities and health facilities in the three states and the Federal Capital Territory. Findings revealed that kerosene was being demanded as delivery items at Alabata PHC in Alimosho LG, Lagos; Mpape community in Abuja longed for a health facility to improve access to maternal health  care; pregnant women in Yakassai hospital in Kaduna complained of bad road and distance to health facility; and the hospital at Birnin Kudu in Jigawa State increased registration form from N200 to about N2000, which had consequence on the general attendance of pregnant women at the hospital.

This year, an average of 40 journalists per batch will be given the opportunity to visit health facilities in low-income communities to report problems of pregnant women accessing healthcare, challenges and needs of the health facilities / communities, preference for TBAs, and other issues that relates to drug supply, family planning commodities, funding, infrastructure, staff strength etc, in a positive way that helps to demand for those items from the concerned authorities.  

 Purpose of Visit

To showcase efforts to address needless deaths of women in the process of pregnancy and child birth. And to bring to the attention of policy makers, governments, and the public, the current state of maternal health care in proposed communities and Nigeria at large. We shall be looking at key factors such as accessibility of health care facilities to the people, attitude of women towards the facilities, the preferred places of delivery and reasons, state of available primary health care facilities, including staffing, funding and availability of drugs.

The visit will seek to create awareness about the opportunities, challenges, needs and lesson learnt in the delivery of maternal, newborn and child health care. Our goal is to create demand for improved maternal health care by providing information that will enable the government to adequately plan and get feedback from the people being served, thus strengthening demand by the community for quality service delivery by the governments and policy makers.

 How to Apply:

Interested applicants should fill the application form below and send two evidence of publication on health and development (preferably maternal health) in a recognised media organisation to info@devcomsnetwork.org. Such report should have been published not later than 6 months from the day of application. The format required include:

  • JPG, PNG, PDF for print
  • MP3, WAV or WMA for radio
  • MP4, FLV, AVI, WMV or MPEG for television

Please note that you can submit a website link (URL) for all the medium while manuscript may be attached for radio and television if unrecorded. However, manuscripts must be backed with details of production of report.

 Who should Apply

  • Health or investigative Journalists who work with radio, television, print or online medium.
  • Applicants must be based in Abuja, Kaduna, Jigawa or Lagos.
  • Applicants must have knowledge of reporting the grassroots and good knowledge of the people in the state applying for.
  • Applicant must be willing to submit at least two maternal health story that focus on the challenges, opportunities and/or lesson learnt from the trip to Development Communications (DevComs) Network

Date and Selection Criteria

The field trips will be in two batches and will hold between the last week of September and October. A total of 80 journalists will participate (20 per states). Selection will be based on participant's location (i.e. any of the four locations above), submission of maternal and child health stories, and clearly stated story idea. Only shortlisted applicants will be contacted.

For Further Enquiries: Contact Ayodele Adesanmi (08152131359) or Biodun Owo (08023305142). You can also send a mail to info@devcomsnetwork.org.