Broken Promises: Human Rights, Accountability, and Maternal Death in Nigeria, a new report by the Center for Reproductive Rights and Women Advocates Resource and Documentation Centre, illustrates the systematic failure of the Nigerian government to live up to its human rights obligations. That so many women die due to pregnancy related complications can be directly attributed to political and economic factors the government has the power to address.
As the report documents, Nigeria has both the policies and the resources to make good maternal healthcare a reality for all women. Institutional and structural problems, combined with a lack of political will, leave Nigerian women underserved and often desperate. The responsibilities for healthcare are separated between local, state and federal governments, increasing bureaucratization and diminishing accountability. Though maternal health policies exist, they are frequently not implemented. Low levels of funding for healthcare are made worse by financial corruption throughout the system.
Broken Promises calls on the Nigerian government to make good on its commitment to saving women's lives by implementing systematic changes to improve maternal health throughout the country.