Led by Ashley Okwuosa and Chuma Asuzu, Maternal Figures is a solutions journalism project aiming to encourage journalists to investigate solutions to an endemic problem. The project focuses on Nigeria’s maternal health, which has one of the world’s worst outcomes. For context, Nigeria’s estimated 40,000 maternal deaths account for a staggering 14% of the world’s annual total — a statistic from a country that represents just 2.6% of the world’s population.
Since the beginning of their Magic Grant, a core motivation of Okwuosa and Asuzu was to engage journalists to develop solutions stories using the database as a research and reporting tool. Having learned from journalists that access to funding, training, and accurate maternal health data are some of their biggest challenges, they have created the Maternal Figures Reporting Grants — a stipend for journalists to cover solutions reporting of maternal health interventions in rural (underreported) communities.
The grants will be awarded quarterly to two journalists until September 2021 through funding provided by the Brown Institute for Media Innovation. The first two awardees are Chiamaka Okafor and Kelechukwu Iruoma.
Chiamaka Okafor is a health and science reporter with Premium Times newspaper, she is also Thomson Reuters Foundation alumna. The grant will support her to report on the maternal health aspects of the National Malaria Elimination Programme from three states with different malaria prevalence rates.
Kelechukwu Iruoma is a freelance journalist covering global health, environment, agriculture, conflict, and development in Nigeria. The grant will support him to report on the ‘total market approach to saving mothers’ being implemented in Cross River State communities by Pathfinder International.
Visit the Maternal Figures site if you are interested in applying for a Reporting Grant.