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Increasing Women's Access to Skilled Pregnancy Care in Nigeria (IMCHA)

Less than one-third of Nigerian women receive skilled care during delivery. This project will aim to reduce maternal and perinatal deaths by improving vulnerable women's access to healthcare services during and after childbirth.

Access to care in Nigeria
In Nigeria, only 65% of women receive antenatal care during pregnancy. In areas of the country with the highest maternal and perinatal death rates, there are stark disparities in access to health care. For example, less than 10% of pregnant women in Sokoto and Kebbi States receive antenatal care and less than 5% have skilled care during delivery.

For the most part, women's reasons for not accessing maternal health services include a lack of money to pay for health services, lack of transportation, perceptions about the negative attitudes of health workers, and lack of permission from husbands and other family members.

Understanding the problem
This project will provide insight into the issue by identifying the supply and demand factors that influence improved access to maternal health care services in Nigeria, particularly for rural women. With this base, the project will develop an implementation plan to expand the work to six geo-political zones in Nigeria. The goal? To strengthen the availability and use of maternal primary health care services by vulnerable women.

Maternal Health
The Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa program is a seven-year $36 million initiative funded by Global Affairs Canada (GAC), Canada's International Development Research Centre (IDRC), and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Project ID
Project Status
End Date
12 months
IDRC Officer
Sana Naffa
Total Funding
CA$ 975,000.00
Global Health
Innovating for Maternal and Child Health in Africa
Institution Country
Project Leader
Friday Okonofua
Incorporated Trustees of Women's Health and Action Research Centre
Institution Country
Project Leader
Sanni Yaya
University of Ottawa/Université d'Ottawa



Influence of women’s empowerment indices on the utilization of skilled maternity care : evidence from rural Nigeria


Effect of a multifaceted intervention on utilization of primary health care for maternal and child health care in rural Nigeria


Gender inequity as a barrier to women’s access to skilled pregnancy care in rural Nigeria : a qualitative study


A qualitative study of community elders’ perceptions about the underutilization of formal maternal care and maternal death in rural Nigeria