Rivers State is one of the 36 states of Nigeria, located in the oil rich conflict region of the country known as the Niger Delta. In spite of its crude oil producing status, majority of its residents live either in underdeveloped rural communities or urban slums without basic amenities of light, water or access to basic health facilities. Gestational Diabetes (GDM or diabetes in pregnancy) levels as high as 15.2% has been found in Rivers State. Pregnancy complicated by GDM is a high risk pregnancy with a tenfold increased perinatal mortality rate, greater risk of adverse pregnancy outcomes, a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes later in life & babies born also have a higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes in their teens or early adulthood. Currently, management of GDM in Rivers State is very poor with poor feto-maternal outcomes.
The objective of the project is to pilot a gestational diabetes care project targeting poor women in Rivers State, Nigeria.
In order to coordinate the project and ensure broad ownership the project will establish a multi stakeholder committee consisting of 25 representatives of government authorities, medical professionals, civil society, GDM ambassadors, the project implementation team and facilitated by the Federal Ministry of Health.
To improve the capacity of personnel to care for pregnant women with GDM new guidelines and protocols will be developed in accordance with international standards and health care personnel at all levels of care (primary, secondary and tertiary) will be trained in screening, detecting and care for GDM patients.
In order to improve the quality of care universal screening for GDM will be rolled out and clinics will be improved through provision of equipment . All detected cases of GDM will be referred to treatment and postpartum follow up.
To follow up and document results extensive baseline and endline studies will be conducted and results will be communicated through peer reviewed articles and broadcast media.
• Baseline assessment conducted.
• 60 GDM ambassadors from 12 communities in four districts has increased their knowledge on GDM and they have reached an estimated 108,000 people with awareness raising activities.
• 708 doctors, nurses and other health care personel including obstetricians and gynaecologists, from targeted health care facilities has increased their knowledge, attitude and practice in GDM care.
• 30 health facilities has been strengthened within GDM care and universal screening.
• 20,000 pregnant women screened for GDM, estimated 2,000 pregnant women diagnosed with GDM and 1,000 pregnancy related adverse diabetes outcomes prevented.
• Two peer reviewed articles and eight print and broadcast media publications promoting GDM project activities published.