Leaving no one behind: How can rural Nigerian women access the healthcare they need? W4H

Authors: Women for Health and Health Partners International
Document Type: Videos
Publication Date: 2017

A series of six short films to support ‘leaving no-one behind’ advocacy efforts on female health worker production, recruitment and retention, and inclusive health worker education. It includes a call to action to invest in educating women and girls to ensure Nigerian women have access to the health care they need.

Part 1: Stories of loss 

These personal stories of loss highlight how issues of maternal, newborn and child death affects us all. The film ends in a call to action to invest in educating women and girls to secure the health and wealth of communities in Northern Nigeria.

This short advocacy film is part 1 of a series outlining how addressing female health worker production and retention issues can help Nigeria to meet its global health targets and ensure that no one is left behind.

Part 2: Halima and Sulieman

Halima’s and Suleiman’s hopes and dreams for their new famiy’s survival can only be realised if their rural local health facility is staffed by a skilled female midwife or community health extension worker. With many women enduring child labour alone in the rural north, part 2 of the series highlights the need for skilled female health workers. 

Part 3: What is needed to produce female health workers in Northern Nigeria? 

This short film highlights the gaps and challenges in current skilled female health worker production and retention in Northern Nigeria. Part 3 of the series ends with a call to action to invest in longer term solutions in order for Nigeria to meet its global health targets and ensure that no one is left behind.

Part 4: Successes in health worker production

Part 4 outlines some of the notable successes in health worker production,  recruitment, and retention in promoting access to rural women and girls’ education achieved to date.

These results have been achieved since the Women for Health programme began its efforts in 2013 to address the shortage and quality of female health workers in five Northern Nigerian states.

These remarkable changes were achieved with the combined and sustained efforts of state government, health training schools and community stakeholders.

Part 5: What is the Foundation Year Programme?

Part 5 of the series explains the Foundation Year Programme which is an initiative implemented by the Women for Health programme in five Northern Nigerian states to equip women to gain entry into colleges of midwifery, nursing and health technology. This successful approach has been taken up by the state governments who are working to improve access to education amongst rural women and girls and address the shortage of female health workers in rural areas.

Part 6: Investing in inclusive health worker education

The final film in the 6-part series includes a testimony of the impact the initiatives have had on rural communities and a call to action to scale up Women for Health programme initiatives across other states.


The Women for Health programme would like to extend a special thanks to those who agreed to appear in these films.

And also to the whole of the dedicated Women for Health team who have worked so tirelessly over the last four years to achieve the successes outlined in this film. In particular Dr Fatima Adamu, Dr Adetoro Adegoke, Hafsat Baba, Robert Bature, Largema Bukar Balarabe Ibrahim Gaya, Dr Usman Gwarzo, Ruqayya Manga, Zainab Moukarim, Salma Minjiyawa, Moses Ndasule, David Olayemi, Pieter de Ruijter, Abdullai Sada, Nasiru Sa’adu Fakai and Mary E. Surridge.

We would also like to thank all the programme stakeholders including the State Ministries of Health and the W4H-supported Health Training Institutions in Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Yobe and Zamfara States for their commitment and effort in achieving the results to date.

Producer and Scriptwriter: Eva Rahman
Assistant Producer: Nasiru Sa’adu Fakai and Zainab Moukarim
Film Editor and Production: Alice Ross
Camera and Photography: Bashiru Lawan and Hassan Giggs




Tags: Nigeria, Community mobilisation, Gender, women's empowerment, Women for Health, Northern Nigeria, Foundation Year Programme, gender equality, DFID, girls education, W4H, female health workers, FYP, girls for health, social inclusion, gender equity, Health training,