Jigawa State, Nigeria

This is a more positive story from Nigeria.

In July this year The Lancet, one of the world’s leading medical journals, invited readers to submit images as part of their photography competition which helps raise awareness about different areas of health around the world.

This year Susan Elden, a Health Adviser in the Department for International Development’s Nigeria country office, submitted this photo, which has been selected as one of the winning entries.

Jigawa State (where the photo is taken) has some of the highest rates of maternal and child deaths in Nigeria and most women give birth at home. Before 2009, there were almost 70 midwives to serve a population of 5 million people.

The Nigerian Government responded by increasing the number of midwives and creating a new college of nursing and midwifery. This photograph captures the vision for the future alongside the reality of the present. The state hopes to recruit 500 nurses and midwives. The construction plans for the school will accommodate up to 200 nurses and provide modern classrooms and teaching facilities.

Although these efforts have created hope and a renewed feeling of pride, most Nigerians in Jigawa are subsistence farmers with little or no access to clean drinking water, electricity, or basic health services; female literacy in Jigawa is about 20%.

You can view this photo and the other winning entries in the The Lancet, Volume 378 Number 9809, December 17, 2011.

Picture: Department for International Development/Lindsay gbor – source

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