Nigeria has the highest burden of maternal deaths worldwide and more than one in five maternal deaths in Nigeria (22%) is attributable to postpartum hemorrhage (PPH). 

Despite the country’s roadmap for accelerated reduction of maternal and neonatal mortality, launched by the Federal Ministry of Health in 2019 which seeks to tackle PPH-related deaths, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic risks exacerbates the number of maternal deaths and further derails Nigeria’s efforts towards contributing to SDG 3.1

In 2018, the World Health Organization updated its recommendations on the use of uterotonics for the prevention of PPH and new options such as carbetocin (heat-stable formulation) can be game changers for reducing PPH-related deaths in settings where the quality of oxytocin, the gold standard for PPH prevention, cannot be guaranteed.

SCIDaR, along with its consortium partners, Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), and the Co-creation Hub (CcHUB) with funding from MSD for Mothers collaborate with the Federal Government of Nigeria and three states in Nigeria – Lagos, Kano, and Niger to use human-centered design to develop interventions for reduce PPH-related deaths and this include the introduction of the WHO recommended heat-stable carbetocin.

This project titled Smiles for Mothers aims to reduce PPH-related deaths in Kano, Lagos, and Niger by 20% over the next 2 years (2022) using an iterative Human-Centered Design (HCD) approach. The potential impact of this project includes the introduction of a new drug that will revolutionize PPH prevention and effectively reduce maternal deaths, adoption of the HCD as a viable problem-solving tool for state and federal governments and optimize Maternal Health systems in the focus states.