The £25 million five-year midwifery programme, will assist northern Nigeria to improve health outcomes across the region.
The region currently has the highest rates of maternal and new born mortality in the world.
According to the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey in 2008 , 90% of women gave birth without a midwife or skilled health worker, in comparison to 35% in southern Nigeria.
Under the Women for Health in Nigeria programme, around six thousand female students will be trained to become a midwife, with 1,354 women already enrolled.
If half of these women qualify to become midwives, availability of health workers in rural areas will increase threefold.
Writing for The Guardian, Programme Director for Women for Health in Nigeria, Dr Fatima Adamu said: “We are training women to become good health workers, but our approach has also empowered them. Not only will fewer mothers and babies die when these women return to their villages but also their growing status, educational attainment and new vocation will shine a light for others to follow.”
Women for Health in Nigeria is funded by UK aid.
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Image by Nancy Durrell McKenna, the Founder of Safe Hands for Mothers