Document Type

Dissertation - Open Access

Award Date


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department / School

Sociology and Rural Studies

First Advisor

DIane Kayongo-Male


decline, government policies and initiatives, maternal health, maternal mortality


This research is a case study of the decline in Nigeria’s maternal mortality ratio from 1990 to 2013. The goal was to examine the reasons behind the decline. Using a combination of ideas from Eager (2004) and Nathanson (1996) as the theoretical framework, this study explained the factors that resulted in the decline. Both theorists focus on the processes of normative change relative to public health outcomes at a societal or international level. Available secondary or documentary data were used for this study. Data sources include: Nigerian government reports on maternal health interventions; nongovernmental reports on maternal health interventions; reports from other government and international agencies; and information on social activists groups. Data were analyzed using key indicators developed from theoretical framework. These indicators relative to maternal health included: interventions or actions by the government; the role of active social movements; influence of international agencies; and statements by “transformative actors” which fit with the process of the social construction of maternal mortality as a societal concern. Key findings show that even though social movements and other transformational actors contributed to the decline, the maternal health interventions by the Nigerian government had the most continuous impact on the 2013 maternal mortality decline. Also the decline was largely due to the active collaboration between transformational actors as well as alliances between local and international social movements and actors.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Mothers -- Mortality -- Nigeria

Mothers -- Mortality -- Prevention -- Government policy -- Nigeria

Pregnancy -- Complications -- Nigeria

Maternal health services – Nigeria


Includes bibliographical references (page 155- 167)



Number of Pages



South Dakota State University

Included in

Sociology Commons



Rights Statement

In Copyright