Women for Health Graduation Ceremony

24 April, 2017

The Women for Health graduation ceremony celebrated a milestone as the first cohort of 110 Foundation Year Programme students graduated in Kano last week.

These young women from disadvantaged rural communities completed professional health training and successfully qualified as nurses, midwives and community health workers. We are so proud of their achievements and look forward to seeing them improve lives and change attitudes towards girls’ education and careers within their communities.

The ceremony was attended by high level dignitaries from all Women for Health states, including Commissioners of Health, members of the State of Assembly and Permanent Secretaries. Families, friends, community leaders and well-wishers were happy to see their young girls fulfill their ambitions of becoming health workers and serve as role models to others in their communities. Congratulatory messages were delivered by the Women for Health Board Chair Georgia Taylor, the National Programme Manager Dr Fatima Adamu, and representatives from State Government, Local Government, and the UK Department for International Development.

The graduating students were urged to see this achievement as a stepping stone to greater accomplishments in the future and to continue to chart their career paths with determination. Various state representatives expressed their appreciation to UK Aid and Women for Health, and their support for the sustainability of the Foundation Year Programme. In both Zamfara State and Yobe State, legislation is being put into place for the sustainability for the Foundation Year Programme. In Zamfara, a law has already been signed by the governor to take up ownership of the Foundation Year Programme.

The highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of awards to the best students and tutors from each state, poems by the graduates on their experiences, and a short drama scene on the need to train more female health workers in Northern Nigeria in order to access skilled health services. This displayed the confidence and empowerment these young girls have established in themselves beyond their academic success. One poem in particular, read by Zara ‘U’ Babagida Parake from Katsina State, brought the crowd to applause with her brilliant presentation. The students were excited to see a video montage of their experiences played for their friends and family.

We are also pleased to announce the positive initial results from this year’s final year students across Women for Health supported Institutions and States. Katsina State has a 95% pass rate in Community Midwifery and 86% in Basic Midwifery. Jigawa had a 76% pass rate in Basic Midwifery, more than double the pass rate in 2016 of 34%, and finally, Kano had a 100% pass rate for Dambatta. We are looking forward to hearing other results soon.

Those students who were unsuccessful on the Foundation Year Programme were empowered through various vocational training sessions. At the ceremony, 25 of these students were given Empowerment Kits, which include a sewing machine and cash gift.

The Women for Health programme would not be possible without support from its partners: the UK Department for International Development, Save the Children, GRID Consulting, the Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, the Royal College of Midwives, Clinton Health Access Initiative, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, and Bayero University Kano.

Find out more about the Women for Health programme, its outcomes and impacts, or read about Hauwa’s success on the programme. You can also follow Women for Health on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Visit the Women for Health website here