Health programs are
often instituted to prevent diseases and to restore or promote health. In many
cases, there are gaps between anticipated and attained goals. A case in point
is the Nigerian Midwives Service Scheme, where the concept of providing 24 hour
coverage of the primary health centers by skilled birth attendants is currently
failing to meet the desired targets in certain parts of Nigeria, predominantly
the North Eastern and North Western Zones.
This is in spite of
adequate funding and organization. This article discusses the barriers to
effective implementation of the program and suggests that the gap between goals
anticipated during program conceptualization and goals attained after program
implementation can be bridged by optimizing innovative health communications to
the target audience and applying social marketing techniques to health care
delivery in the affected zones. This is in addition to inter-sectoral
coordination and collaboration between relevant government ministries and
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