As the most populous nation in Africa, Nigeria makes up 3% of the world’s population, yet it accounts for 14% of all maternal deaths. In its vast rural areas, health facilities are scarce and often undersupplied, and where services do exist, cultural and social pressures can limit women’s ability to use them.
EngenderHealth has worked in Nigeria since 1985, and since 2007 we have focused on preventing and treating obstetric fistula, a devastating childbirth injury. To do so, we train doctors and nurses to perform fistula repair surgery, and we partner with hospitals and health centers to improve or introduce emergency obstetric care so that laboring women who reach a hospital in time will not develop fistula. In addition, we support health facilities in building awareness about fistula prevention, maternal health, and family planning services. From 2007 to 2013, we trained more than 450 Nigerian nurses and doctors to perform fistula repair surgery, and we supported 10,284 fistula repair surgeries.
Our work today continues to strengthen fistula prevention and treatment in Nigeria by expanding our efforts to build community awareness and increasing our focus on the integration of family planning services with fistula and maternal health care.