Picturing Our Work: Delivering Over a Thousand Textbooks for Students in Nigeria

Last month, CapacityPlus delivered much-needed textbooks and other educational materials to 11 schools of health technology and midwifery in Nigeria. Here I am shaking hands with Sampson Tita, the principal of a school of health technology in Nassarawa State. We had just opened boxes and boxes containing brand new books for use by students like these that are studying to become community health extension workers.

health extension students and principal of Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ  School of Health Technology, Alushi, Nassarawa State, with Joseph Eton 

Following a needs assessment, CapacityPlus purchased 1,173 books covering subjects like family medicine, anatomy, microbiology, and maternal and child health.

Administrators, faculty, and students from the 11 schools participated in the assessment, which evaluated the schools’ capacity to graduate a larger number of students that are prepared to address the country’s priority health needs.

Community health extension workers are vital for increasing access to health services in rural areas of Nigeria where health workers are needed most. Once fully implemented across the country, they will aid in task sharing. But currently only about half of these students pass their qualifying exams on their first try. Students, faculty, and administrators agreed that these students are often simply academically unprepared for the examinations. Textbook shortages were repeatedly listed as the number one challenge and limiting factor for improving and increasing learning.

The book two students are holding, Classic Anthology of Anatomical Charts, was selected because basic science lecturers said that their anatomy books were either out-of-date or were so torn they were unusable.

Providing up-to-date and relevant textbooks is just one way CapacityPlus is working to scale up the number of graduates in Nigeria and increase their likelihood of passing national qualifying exams. The project also purchased 106 learning aids, including anatomical models, CPR mannequins, posters illustrating childbirth and fetal development, interactive childbirth simulators, and family planning teaching aids.

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Photo by Uko Gabriel Chukwudi (Joseph (left) shaking hands with Sampson Tita, principal of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Christ School of Health Technology, Alushi, Nassarawa State)