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BusinessDay’s Desmond Okon wins reporting grant by Maternal Figures

Maternal Figures has selected Desmond Okon, a reporter with BusinessDay for a reporting grant, for an investigation and reporting on how Maternal Expert Thinking Analyzer (META), a mobile diagnostic app is being used among midwives in Benue state, and how it is reducing maternal mortality.

Maternal Figures is a database of maternal health interventions implemented in Nigeria in the last 30 years. Developed as a research tool for journalists, the database contains verified information including funding sources, contact information, programme reports, and more.

Other Fellows selected include Rakiya Muhammad, a freelance journalist in Sokoto, who until recently was Bureau Chief for Daily Trust Newspapers in Sokoto. Her grant will support coverage of the implementation of the Emergency Transport Services programme of the Sokoto State Government among pregnant women in rural areas of the state.

Vivian Chime, an investigative and fact-checking journalist covering gender, health, politics, human rights, and the environment for Sparkling 92.3 FM, Calabar, will produce a comparative report on the administration of Traditional Birth Attendant programmes in two Nigerian states.

“I am honoured to be chosen by Maternal Figures, and among the 3 I am the only male in this category. I am passionate about humane stories and look forward to visiting Benue for this reporting project even as BusinessDay is set to publish the findings,” he said.

Okon holds a Bachelors of Arts in Mass Communication from the University of Nigeria, Nsuka and is passionate about humane and investigative stories.

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