More Students Fulfill Their Dreams of Becoming Midwives and Community Health Workers in Nigeria

Kalu Janet“I want to be a midwife because it is a privilege to be the first to help a woman bring life into this world, and to do it in a safe way to save lives,” says Kalu Janet. She started working toward her goal by enrolling in FCT School of Midwifery, Gwagwalada. But for financial reasons she feared she would have to drop out and put her dream on hold.

Many other health students faced the same situation, and an assessment provided evidence that financial difficulties are among the most common reasons for student attrition and low production of health workers in Nigeria. In collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Health and other stakeholders, CapacityPlus implemented a unique scholarship program for midwifery and community health extension worker students who were at risk of dropping out.

Now, at least 1,300 of the 2,065 recipients have already graduated and entered Nigeria’s health workforce pool to improve access to critical health services, including family planning and HIV/AIDS care and treatment.

Midwifery students

CapacityPlus is conducting an evaluation to learn more about the students that have completed their studies and graduated with the project’s support.

“I love being the one delivering those babies,” says Emen Christopher, one of the scholarship recipients. “I love being a midwife.”

In addition to these scholarships, CapacityPlus is supporting Nigeria’s health systems strengthening through activities in preservice education, in-service training, HR information systems, and health workforce planning, management, and leadership. These efforts are increasing the availability of health workers to meet the family planning, HIV, maternal and child health, and other priority health needs of underserved populations. Learn more.

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Photos by Amanda Puckett (Kalu Janet; students at FCT School of Midwifery)