What does it take to improve healthcare delivery in Nigeria?
Nigeria is the seventh most populated country in the world, and nearly 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. As a result of Nigeria’s weak health system and high prevalence of poverty, the country suffers from extremely high mortality and morbidity rates among vulnerable people, especially children under-five years of age and women of child-bearing age. People living in the northern states of the country generally suffer from poorer health and health services.
In response, Partners for Development (PfD) began working in Bauchi and Sokoto states to strengthen the relationship between community institutions and healthcare delivery systems and improve overall primary health care services and management provided by local and state governments.
To achieve this, PfD trained and mentored health care personnel who were responsible for delivering family planning and reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health services, including nurses, midwives and community health workers and volunteers. PfD also established committees within each ward and each LGA, building the capacity of each to promote health seeking behaviors within their communities.
PfD developed and integrated health counseling services, education about best health practices, and the identification of community health workers in order to mobilize communities and perpetuate the success of established activities. In particular, PfD’s work with community health volunteers in disseminating health messages and providing referrals to health facilities significantly contributed to the overall success of the project.
Ultimately, PfD’s community-based approach to development once again resulted in the successful improvement of health services in the target areas of Bauchi State. PfD’s focus on capacity building and sustainable programming allowed for significant achievements in the quality and accessibility of healthcare in the LGAs.
This work was completed by Partners for Development (PfD) under the JSI-led and USAID funded Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP) in Nigeria’s Bauchi and Sokoto states. Under TSHIP, PfD won a sub-grant to support initiatives in five Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Bauchi that focused on institutional capacity building, delivery of health services, and community participation in and promotion of health-seeking behaviors. Read more: The Role and Impact of Partners for Development (PFD) in the Targeted States High Impact Project (TSHIP).