Fellow: Omokejimi Samuel Abayomi
Grant Year: 2018
City: Lagos, Nigeria
Organization: Micsmile Foundation
Project title: Advocacy for Implementation of Lagos State Health Management Agency Law (LASHMA) in Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area in Lagos
Project summary: According to the Maternal Health Task Force, women’s limited access to health services result in extremely high rates of maternal death, and is one of the greatest obstacles to gender equality in Nigeria. In areas like Ikosi/Isheri Local Council Development Area (LCDA) of Lagos almost 48% of pregnant women decide to give birth outside of a clinic because they cannot afford hospital service fees and/or have difficulty accessing these health facilities. This lack of access to adequate health care for women and girls in Ikosi/Isheri LCDA contributes to the area’s continual poverty, exacerbates gender equality, and results in poor health outcomes for women and girls in the community.
In order to improve gender equality and maternal health outcomes, the Lagos State Government passed the Lagos State Health Management Agency (LASHMA) Law which calls for free maternal and child care programs in all general hospitals and primary health centers in the state. However, currently this law is not being implemented in every LCDA in the state and there is no budget for implementation. Micsmile Foundation proposes to advocate for the Lagos State Primary Health Care Board to include a budget line in the State PHC budget specifically for the provision of free adolescent and maternal health services in Ikosi/Isheri LCDA, as indicated in the LASHMA law by September 2019. The success of the project would greatly improve gender equality by improving women’s access to health care, benefitting over 400,000 women in Ikosi/Isheri LCDA.