Blog entry by Learning Hub
Nigeria has the highest number of maternal deaths in Sub-Saharan Africa
and high rates of under-5 child mortality. These indicators are even more severe in northern Nigeria, where up to 90 percent of pregnant women deliver their babies without a skilled birth attendant. States such as Yobe and Borno are particularly
fragile, suffering insurgency which has terrorised young women. Female health workers are particularly important in the north of the country because social norms in rural communities can prohibit women from receiving care from male health workers.
Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) trained women to be service providers in six states in northern Nigeria through its Women for Health (W4H) programme.
Since November 2012, W4H increased the number and capacity of female health workers in Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Yobe, and Zamfara, while at the same time supported women’s empowerment, promoted gender equality, and tackled trauma. It improved women’s access to and use of health services in northern Nigeria and advanced Nigeria’s journey toward universal health coverage. W4H worked closely with other health and education programs in the states, and took a “building back better” approach in conflict and humanitarian emergency-affected areas of Borno and Yobe states and ensured the sustainability of progress in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara.
A national team, led by Dr. Fatima Adamu, provided technical support to state-level teams, backed by a senior technical advisory group. The programme was led by DAI Global Health in partnership with Save the Children. W4H worked closely with 22 midwifery, nursing, and community health extension worker training institutions and state ministries of health to support the training of female health workers and their deployment to rural health facilities. Click here to visit the project’s Facebook page.