This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. | +2347065245083 | Webmail 



In a three days stakeholders meeting on Nigeria Research Days for Maternal New born and Child Health (MNCH) conference held in Abuja from July 11 -13, 2018 at Rock View Hotel,  Professor Friday, Okonofua gave a presentation on “Increasing Women's Access to Skilled Pregnancy Care in Nigeria: Results achieved’’.  In his Lecture, he stated that according to WHO 2015, Nigeria accounts for 19% of global Maternal Mortality. The major reason for these deaths is that many women particularly those in rural areas do not attend primary health centres for antenatal care, during delivery and post-natal care.

Although the Nigeria government has made maternal and child health a priority, the Women’s Health Action and Research Centre (WHARC) a non-profitable organization in Collaboration with International Development Research Centre, Canada is currently working on Increasing Women's Access to Skilled Pregnancy Care to Reduce Maternal and Perinatal Mortality in Rural Nigeria. This is with a view to strengthening the availability and access to maternal primary health care services in two local government areas (Esan South East and Etsako East) in Edo State.

In the formative research plan, among the 1,314 pregnant study participant, the results of the baseline study on place of delivery showed that 46.6% of these women gave birth in a PHC while 24.8% gave birth at home or with a traditional birth attendant (fig 1).

More so, the findings from this study also revealed that women with higher education are less likely to use a PHC. With regards religious background, Muslim women are more likely to use a PHC than Christians and women with less autonomy are more likely to use a PHC. The results of the project also revealed that the major barriers to utilization of primary health care services in these rural communities were:

  • Poor accessibility to Primary Health Care (PHC)
  • Poor quality of health care
  • Cost of services
  • PHC environment/facilities


In order to address these barriers, WHARC intervention activities included

  • Signing an MOU with Taxi drivers association for transporting pregnant women in cases of emergency, use of rapid SMS and linkage of PHCs to referral Hospitals.
  • Advocacy services which include: more staffing of PHCs, retraining and retooling PHCs staff, supplying of hospital consumables and use of drug revolving fund.
  • Introduction of community health insurance (‘‘esusu’’) which involves monthly contribution of N100 per family and donations by WHARC to the scheme
  • Provision of equipment and repairs as well as renovation of PHCs through Ward Development Committee.
  • Regular community health talk


In conclusion, it is apparent that the community ownership model can succeed in rural communities through strategic community engagement using ward development committees to encourage the use of PHCs by women for skilled pregnancy care.



Fig 1: Profile of Birthing Facilities among Study Population



  • Predictors of Women’s Utilization of Primary Health Care for Skilled Pregnancy Care in Rural Nigeria. BMC Pregnancy and Childbirth (2018) 18:106
  • Increasing women’s access to skilled pregnancy care to reduce maternal and perinatal mortality in rural Edo State, Nigeria: a randomized controlled trial. Global Health Research and Policy (2018) 3:12

Submitted for Publication

  • Gender inequality as barrier to women’s access to skilled pregnancy care in rural Nigeria: A qualitative study. Frontiers in Public Health
  • A qualitative study of non-utilisation of skilled pregnancy care in rural Nigeria. Women and Birth.
  • Men’s Perception of Barriers to Women’s Use and Access of Skilled Pregnancy Care In Rural Nigeria: A Qualitative Study.

Accepted Conference Abstracts

  • Building community-led interventions for demand creation for skilled pregnancy care in rural Nigeria. 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Liverpool, UK. Abstract ID: 1537. Accepted.
  • Why women do not use Primary Health Centres for skilled pregnancy care in rural Nigeria: Evidence from a mixed method study 5th Global Symposium on Health Systems Research, Liverpool, UK. Abstract ID: 1541
  • “I don’t think family planning is helping women rather it is “killing” many women”: Uncovering persistent ignorance and misconceptions about family planning in rural Nigeria. International Conference on Family Planning. International Conference on Family Planning, Kigali Rwanda.  Abstract (ID 1166) Accepted.





Leave your comments

Post comment as a guest

Comments | Add yours
  • No comments found

Our Board of Trustees

  • Prof. Agatha Eguavoen /Chairman/

    Professor Agatha Nonyem Taiwo Eguavoen attended the University of Ibadan where she obtained her First, Second and Third degrees in Sociology with specialization in Criminology and Gender studies.
    Read More
  • Prof. Friday Okonofua

    Professor Friday Okonofua is the pioneer Vice-Chancellor of the University of Medical Sciences in Ondo State of Nigeria. He graduated MB ChB from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife in 1978 and has PhD (Public Health) from the Karolinska University in Sweden.
    Read More
  • Dr. Wilson Imongan

    Wilson Imongan, medical practitioner, graduated with MBBS from the University of Ibadan and had additional training in Dermatology from the University of Wales, Cardiff, UK where he obtained a post graduate diploma in Dermatological Sciences.
    Read More
  • Prof. Bridget Ogonor

    Professor (Mrs.) Bridget Ogheneakpobo Ogonor has B.Sc. (Sociology) University of Lagos in 1978. In 1983. 1990 and 1997, she bagged the following degrees; PGDE, M.Ed (Educational Administration) and Ph.D (Educational Administration) respectively from the University of Benin.
    Read More
  • Prof. Cyril Mokweyen

    Professor Cyril Obiajulu MOKWENYE is a Professor Francophone Caribbean and African Literatures at the University of Benin, Nigeria. He was educated at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria, and the University of Bordeaux, in France.
    Read More
  • Lady (Mrs.) Marcelina A

    Chief Lady Mrs. Marcellina Aisuebeogun is a retired Chief Health Sister/Chief Nursing Officer and a Health Educator for several years.
    Read More
  • Engineer. Ibude Guobadia

    Engineer. Ibude Guobadia is a Management Consultant and Engineer. He obtained a B.Sc. (Hons) Electrical engineering from the University of Lagos, Lagos in 1984 and a master in Business Administration (MBA) in 1990 from the University of Benin, Benin City.
    Read More
  • 1

Like us on Facebook

WHARC Twitter Feeds

Newsletter Subscription

Stay up-to-date with our latest news, events and publications. Enter your name and email in the form below and and click the subscribe button to be added to our subscribers list.


  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
  WHARC Complex, KM 11 Lagos-Benin Expressway, Igue-Iyeha, Benin City, Edo State Nigeria.

Keep in Touch