Over the past two years, Nigeria has shown a renewed commitment to strengthening its health services, notably under the aegis of the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative. A broad-based investment program with six distinct health pillars – immunization, malaria control, nutrition, prevention of mother to child transmission of HIV, delivery of essential medicines to address common childhood illnesses, and strengthening delivery platforms – SOML has the potential to dramatically improve maternal and child health in the country.
It was estimated that almost 1 million women and children die yearly, largely from preventable causes. The President of Nigeria launched the Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML PforR) Initiative in October 2012 in response to the poor health outcomes in the country, particularly for mothers and children. It represents a bold attempt by the Federal Government of Nigeria to improve maternal and child health outcomes so that they are more in keeping with the country’s level of wealth.
Instead of focusing on inputs, the PforR is designed to disburse against measurable results. States are the greatest beneficiaries of the program, receiving up to 82% of the total credit sum as incentive for improved performance under the various disbursement linked indicators (DLIs)