Better Obstetrics in Rural Nigeria: evaluating the Midwives Service Scheme
3ie Impact Evalution report 56, 2017
This evaluation measures the impact of the Midwives Service Scheme, a government programme introduced in 2009 to increase access to skilled obstetric care in underserved rural areas. The programme sought to alleviate supply constraints by deploying nearly 2,500 skilled midwives to 652 primary health facilities in rural communities. Researchers found that the programme’s effects were smaller than anticipated. There is suggestive, but not conclusive, evidence of a small increase in skilled birth attendance. This is confined to southern Nigeria, where there were fewer challenges with midwife retention.