Delivering success photgraphThe Challenge
In Northern Nigeria, a lack of female health providers, including skilled birth attendants, is one of the key constraints to improving maternal and newborn health outcomes. The shortages are particularly evident and problematic in rural areas where cultural norms prevent women from being seen by a male health provider. As a result, a high 85% of women in the north deliver without skilled delivery care, compared to 35% in the south of the country.

The five-year UK aid funded Women for Health Programme (W4H) was established in 2012 to address the rural staffing shortages in five states in the north. The programme is being implemented by a consortium led by Health Partners International (HPI) with Save the Children and GRID Consulting. HPI has substantial experience of rehabilitating and equipping health facilities in a number of Nigerian states and other countries.


Key messages

W4H successfully managed a large portfolio of construction works in a challenging and high risk environment
Proactive risk management by programme staff meant that W4H was able to identify and address construction challenges without delay
The construction works were used to leverage other improvements at health training institutions, in some cases considerably increasing government expenditure on these
W4H was able to successfully incorporate gender concerns in its health infrastructure improvement initiative


 W4H aims to increase the number of ‘front-line’ female health workers (nurses, midwives, Community Health Extension Workers) and support their deployment to rural health facilities. Sixteen Health Training Institutions, including Colleges of Nursing and Midwifery and Schools of Health Care Technology, are being supported to train over 6,000 female health workers in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Yobe and Zamfara.

New school building

Construction sites were spread across five programme states

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