News @ JSI

Saving the lives of mothers and newborns in Nigeria

April 23, 2013

**Update: The distribution of misoprostol and chlorhexidine to all 244 wards of Nigeria's Sokoto State was completed on Thursday, April 25th. Read more about the successful distribution (implemented by the USAID Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP)), in Nigerian newspaper, Premium Times.**

With the support of the JSI Research & Training Institute, Inc.-implemented USAID Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP), the Sokoto state government of Nigeria launched its procurement of two lifesaving drugs: Chlorhexidine gluconate 7.1% (CHX) and Misoprostol for the survival of newborns and mothers. Sokoto is the first government in Africa to launch the use of CHX.

Misoprostol and chlorhexidine are simple, cost-effective interventions that can save the lives of mothers and newborns.
The availability of CHX will greatly facilitate progress toward Nigeria's Saving One Million Lives Agenda, the International Call to Action agenda, and the UN Commission on Lifesaving Commodities, which is co-chaired by the President of Nigeria.

JSI and Sokoto cited evidence as the reason for procuring CHX. JSI also completed market research with the Government of Sokoto and the Nigerian-based Gongoni Company to build interest in producing CHX locally. Then, using its own funds, the Sokoto government ordered 56,823 doses of CHX from a subsidiary of the Kano, Nigeria-based Gongoni Company. Those doses will protect the same number of newborns from cord-related infections within the first hour of birth. Sokoto has broken new ground for the eventual local manufacture and supply of this essential medicine.

Symbolic launch for the distribution of commodities.
Sokoto’s procurement of CHX and Misoprostol means that up to 2,250 newborn deaths due to cord infection and up to 1,000 maternal deaths due to postpartum hemorrhage will be prevented. Presently, 95% of all births in Sokoto take place at home; the ability to deliver such lifesaving, low-cost drugs to women in their homes is critically important.

To support this historic move by Sokoto state, USAID | TSHIP has accelerated the training of community-based health volunteers, per the government of Nigeria's guidelines. The aim is to have 10 community-based health volunteers per ward in all 244 wards of Sokoto.

USAID | TSHIP is also working with the USAID | DELIVER health logistics project to fast-track the design of a community distribution system for Misoprostol and chlorhexidine. In addition, the Federal Ministry of Health has asked USAID | TSHIP to contribute its expertise to the national rollout of CHX and Misoprostol. USAID | TSHIP continues to advocate for similar outcomes in Bauchi State.

Addressing the executive governor of Sokoto, Nigeria’s Minister of Health Onyebuchi Chukwu said, “I am happy that you are the first to begin to give [CHX and misoprostol] to our people. I am happy to say that the government of Sokoto state has bought into this initiative and has procured along with the development partners for these commodities to be used for our women and children. I will use this opportunity to call on other state governors to replicate the efforts of the Sokoto state government.”

Addressing the Executive Governor of Sokoto, TSHIP Chief of Party Nosa Orobaton said, “USAID | TSHIP and JSI Research and Training Institute, Inc. stand proudly with and pay tribute to His Excellency for this bold act of leadership for women and children… Your Excellency, your action is a victory for governance. It is a victory for the power of governance to protect women and newborns during the first hour after delivery, which is also one of our most vulnerable moments as a human society.”

For more information about the Targeted States High Impact Project, please visit:

Click the image to watch a video
about implementation of
chlorhexidine programming in
Nigeria, Nepal, and Madagascar.
To better understand how distributing and using CHX at the community level can help save newborn lives, w atch this video:

About Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP)

Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP) increases the use of health services and strengthens health systems to be more responsive to the basic health needs of households in the Northern Nigerian states of Bauchi and Sokoto. Launched in 2009, the five-year project is funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and focuses on high impact and integrated maternal, newborn and child health, family planning, and reproductive health interventions.

For more information, please call:

Nomtai Kaduno Tukura, Executive Officer, TSHIP Tel: +234(0)709 850 4504

Matthew Osborne-Smith, Senior Advisor, JSI R&T, Inc. Tel: (617) 482 – 9485