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The impact of Nigeria's Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results - P4H Network

The impact of Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results

Nigeria’s Saving One Million Lives Programme for Results (SOML-PforR), launched with World Bank support significantly improved maternal, newborn, and child health by emphasizing results-based funding, transparency, and data-driven decision-making, showcasing a transformative model for healthcare delivery.

In 2012, Nigeria launched the Saving One Million Lives (SOML) initiative to improve Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health (MNCH). Initially implemented in 13 states, the program aimed to enhance data generation and utilization for policymaking. In 2015, the program was expanded and restructured with a $500M World Bank credit using the Programme for Results (PforR) approach, emphasizing results-based funding over traditional input financing.

The repackaged SOML-PforR focused on six pillars:

  • Improving MNCH
  • Routine immunization and polio eradication
  • Preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission
  • Ensuring access to essential drugs
  • Controlling malaria
  • and enhancing child nutrition.

Two enabling factors were also targeted:

  • Strengthening logistics and supply chains
  • and using technology in healthcare delivery.


The program incentivized state governments based on their progress in key health indicators and established robust monitoring and evaluation systems. Despite initial delays and challenges, the program recorded moderate improvements in key MNCH indicators by 2019. It fostered better data utilization, inter-state competition, community engagement, and public-private partnerships.

Isaac F. Adewole and Olusoji Adeyi, Saving one million lives programme for results and implementation in Nigeria: A report, African Journal of Reproductive Health, 22 Nov 2022