0U7A2011This Women for Health (W4H) summary provides an overview of the five-year DFID-funded programme. The programme has contributed to improving maternal outcomes by addressing the shortage of female health workers, especially midwives, in five states in Northern Nigeria. The aim of W4H is to train over 6000 female workers by convening decision-makers, leaders and communities to address the barriers rural women face in accessing health training. W4H supports the improvement of health training institutes by facilitating the provision of an enabling environment including providing adequate infrastructure, maintaining accreditation status and financial management.

The programme has helped improve the quality of teaching, student performance and increased the number of students in the training institutes. The establishment of the Foundation Year Programme provided the support for disadvantaged young rural women to acquire the science and academic requirement to enrol for the mainstream professional midwifery and nursing courses. W4H has empowered young women economical and personally. At the end of the programme, the graduates are deployed to rural health facilities and ultimately have a great impact on maternal health in those communities. W4H has had great success; over 2,400 female students are enrolled or have been enrolled in professional training, over 1,200 attended a Foundation Year programme, there is increased female leadership in training institutes and 95percent of the students are hopeful about their future.

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