This presentation was delivered as part of a Women for Health (W4H) programme team panel at Accountability NOW: A national summit to Advance Newborn and Maternal Health in Nigeria held in Abuja on 16 - 18 February 2016.

Changing the face of health training institutions: Making HTIs in Northern Nigeria more female-friendly has been the centered focus of the third presentation. In rural northern Nigeria, the chronic shortage of female health-workers combines with social and religious norms to produce some of the poorest health indicators in Africa. Many rural northern Nigerian women and girls are unable to access Health Training Institutions (HTIs) to be trained as health care workers. A major reason why northern Nigerian women and girls lack access to HTIs is their inability to meet the entry requirements. This is discussed in the W4H presentation on 'Addressing equity & social exclusion of rural girls to education in Northern Nigerian health training institutions'. Another key reason, is related to social barriers which impedes on access to HTIs for women and girls.

W4H provides management support and infrastructural improvements to local health training institutions so that they are better able to cater for female students. Multi-level strategies were implemented to increase the gender sensitivity of the HTIs through improved infrastructure, gender training of staff and mainstreaming gender into annual plans. W4H collaborates with these institutions, providing gender responsiveness training and supporting them to plan and implement women-friendly measures.

Results to date include a significant improvement in the gender responsiveness of HTIs, with improved accommodation, security, social-support, prioritization of the recruitment of female students, and a greater proportion of female tutors and managers.

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