Resource December 4, 2017

Meet the Journalist: T.R. Goldman

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The operating theater at the Okene Zonal Hospital in Kogi State, Nigeria. Image by T.R. Goldman. Nigeria, 2017.
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Nearly a quarter of a million Nigerian babies die during their first month of life—one of the world...

The operating theater at the Okene Zonal Hospital in Kogi State, Nigeria. Image by T.R. Goldman. Nigeria, 2017.
The operating theater at the Okene Zonal Hospital in Kogi State, Nigeria. Image by T.R. Goldman. Nigeria, 2017.

In July 2017, T.R. Goldman traveled to Nigeria for two weeks to report on a story for the U.S. policy journal, Health Affairs, about a promising newborn health intervention—as near to a silver bullet as exists in global health. What does it take for a developing country like Nigeria to roll out a new healthcare protocol for newborns that can dramatically reduce neonatal mortality?

Goldman discusses the challenges this country faces as it tries to make the application of chlorhexidine gel to a newborn's umbilical cord standard practice throughout the whole country. He visited federal health ministry officials in the capital Abuja, a drug manufacturer near  Nigeria's commercial center, Lagos, and clinics and hospitals in central Nigeria's mostly rural Kogi State. Along the way he found a host of challenges, some obvious, some less so, that illuminate how difficult it can be to create a new health protocol in a vast country with a huge gap between rich and poor and major cultural differences between the north and south.

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