…..Some countries in Africa allocate a lump sum of money for the broad category of Reproductive, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (RMNCH). This approach creates issues for implementation because it becomes difficult to determine how much money to allocate to a particular issue or area. Separating by funding source is important because it helps us identify the partners that are delivering versus those that are not.

……. Many countries in Africa and around the world have decentralized health systems. Thus, focusing and developing a costed plan for solely the federal government misses a lot of people and opportunities. In the African context, countries should look to expand the definition of a national implementation plan to include subnational plans. For instance, in Nigeria, many healthcare workers and people rely on the 36 state governments to provide support, salaries, drugs, and human resources for healthcare facilities. Having a specific costed plan for each subnational region in addition to the compiled national plan will help evaluate the distribution of resources in terms of financial and geographical equity, which will promote equitable maternal health outcomes in the long term.

Read the full interview from the Maternal Health Task Force Blog written by By Yeeun Lee, Master’s Student at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and Research Assistant at the Maternal Health Task Force