Nigeria’s rapidly increasing population has created pressure on the capacity of its health system. High birth rates are accompanied by high rates of under-5 mortality. Uptake of family planning services is low while unmet need is very high. The private sector is the preferred source of contraceptives and diarrhea treatment for most women.
With the largest population and economy in Africa, over 62% of Nigeria’s 170 million people live in extreme poverty. The country has one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world at an estimated 576 deaths per 100,000 live births. A contributing factor to Nigeria’s poor maternal health status is the country’s relatively high fertility rate. Nigeria’s total fertility rate remains high at 5.5. The contraceptive prevalence rate is 15% due to opposition to use, method-related concerns, and lack of accurate knowledge about contraceptive methods. Unmet need is high, with 16% of women reporting that they are not using contraception, but wish to postpone their next birth or stop childbearing altogether.
More than 240,000 children under the age of 5 die annually in Nigeria due to diarrhea, representing 19% of Nigeria’s under-5 mortality. Currently, effective treatment for acute pediatric diarrhea—the use of zinc along with low-osmolarity oral rehydration salts (ORS)—is not reaching children in need.
The private sector is the preferred source of contraceptives for most women in Nigeria and a major source of health care for caregivers seeking treatment for childhood illnesses. Over 50 percent of rural Nigerians routinely to turn to private health facilities to meet their basic health needs. SHOPS Plus works to improve family planning, reproductive health, and child health outcomes in Nigeria by expanding access to and use of priority products and services by leveraging the potential of the private sector. The project focuses on increasing the availability of products, improving the capacity of service providers, increasing demand for and use of services, and supporting an enabling environment for private sector participation in policy dialogue with the public sector. The project will also expand existing child health interventions focused on diarrhea management in Kebbi and Benue States.