GIRLS FOR HEALTH (G4H)
Girls for Health is a four year (2016-2020) action research project funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation under the GRAND CHALLENGES: PUTTING WOMEN AND GIRLS AT THE CENTER OF DEVELOPMENT. The aim of the project is to promote the economic empowerment, agency and voice of adolescent girls by supporting their transition from school to formal employment in the health and teaching careers, and in so doing, will increase women’s access to health services and girls’ access to education in rural areas. The project provides academic and social support to rural and disadvantaged girls in SS2 and 3 to pass national exams in science subjects and English and math and support them to secure admission in high institutions for career in health and teaching in science subjects.
Nana implements this project in Sokoto and Kebbi states and in 12 government secondary schools. Other partners in G4H are Centre for Girls Education in Kaduna state, POTHE in Jigawa state, Federal University Birnin-Kebbi and University of California
Why Girls for Health?
Northern Nigeria faces acute shortage of health workers. This has negative impact on women’s access to hospital thereby affecting health indices in the country.
National Data HRH Country Profile, Nigeria, 2008
The situation is worst because majority of the health workers in the North West and North East states are working in the hospitals located in the state capital as demonstrated by the data from Sokoto.
Sokoto State HRH Data (2016)
- Majority of doctors are in UDUTH where few have access
- Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital, Sokoto – 354 Doctors, 633 Nurses/ Midwives
- Sokoto State Government – 126 Doctors, 1,958 Nurses/Midwives
- Sokoto State Government – 1,492 CHEWs
- Federal Neuro Psychiatric Hospital, Kware – 14 Doctors and 111 Nurses/Midwives
- Nigerian Air force Clinic, Sokoto – 1 Doctor
- Nigerian Army Hospital, Sokoto – 4 Doctors
So the problems are;
- There is acute shortage of health workers in the North (regional inequality)
- The few available are not serving in rural areas where we have the highest population and high demand for the services because of lack of alternative and high disease burden (rural-urban inequality).
- Majority of the HW are male and our people prefer female (gender inequality)
The position of Nana is that the problem of inadequate female health workers is not largely due to ordinary people not wanting to send their daughters for training as was the case in the past. Many studies reported interest and aspiration of parents and their daughters to become health workers. Health profession is the chosen career for majority of women interviewed in Kano, Sokoto, Kaduna, Bauchi, Katsina, Kebbi, Yobe etc. Far from it, the problem is largely lack of opportunities to ordinary women to pursue career in health. G4H provides the financial, academic, social and political support to rural girls and women to become health workers and be deployed where there is the greatest need.
Objectives of G4H
- Provide academic and social support to rural and disadvantaged girls in SS2 and 3 to pass national exams in science subjects and English and math
- Support them to secure admission in high institutions to read health and science related courses
- Support them to pass entrance examination into Universities and Nurses and Midwifery
- Support them to graduate in chosen career