In Nigeria, we collaborate with the federal and state governments, local organizations, communities, and the private sector to improve health access and address challenges to the health of women, children, and families.

Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

MOMENTUM works with the Nigerian federal and state governments, local organizations, community structures, and the private sector to improve health access and address challenges to the health of women, children, and families. We work with our partners to prevent gender-based violence, child marriage, and early pregnancy among Nigerian women and girls; improve surgical care for women; and prevent and treat obstetric fistula and female genital mutilation/cutting.  We are also conducting a study to compare the costs of delivering health services in the private and public sectors to better understand how private for-profit and nonprofit providers can better serve Nigerians.

Learn more about our programs in West Africa

Safe Surgical Care

Preventing, Treating, and Raising Awareness of Obstetric and Iatrogenic Fistula

Obstetric fistula—a maternal injury that occurs when obstructed labor leaves a hole in the birth canal—is treatable and almost always preventable. Eight out of every 10,000 women of reproductive age in Nigeria have had an obstetric fistula at some point in their life.1 MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics collaborates with communities, health workers, and institutions in Bauchi, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Ebonyi states and the Federal Capital Territory to raise awareness of obstetric fistula prevention and treatment and provide holistic care for women with fistula.

On our blog, meet Dame Pauline Tallen, Nigeria’s Minister of Women Affairs and Social Development, who is fighting for the needs of Nigerian women experiencing obstetric fistula.

Carielle Doe/USAID
Safe Surgical Care

Improving Surgical Care for Women

MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics partners with state and local governments, organizations, and health workers in Bauchi, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Ebonyi states and the Federal Capital Territory to strengthen the public health sector’s ability to provide high-quality surgical services for pregnant women, such as cesarean sections. Our collaboration focuses on:

  • Improving referral systems so that pregnant women can more readily access lifesaving care.
  • Helping facilities share information about safe surgical care with each other.
  • Collaborating with the Government of Nigeria at federal and state levels to update, adopt, disseminate, and encourage health facilities and providers to use evidence-based guidelines and checklists for cesarean deliveries, hysterectomies performed after childbirth, and fistula care and prevention.
  • Training health workers to provide safe, high-quality surgical obstetric care.
  • Working with the Federal and State Ministries of Health, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and community stakeholders to create an enabling environment for safe surgery.

Learn more about our plans to prevent and treat obstetric fistula in Nigeria.

Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

Preventing and Eliminating Female Genital Mutilation/Cutting

In Nigeria, one in five women ages 15 to 49 have undergone female genital cutting.2 MOMENTUM Safe Surgery in Family Planning and Obstetrics works with partners to prevent female genital mutilation/cutting in Bauchi, Kebbi, Sokoto, and Ebonyi states and the Federal Capital Territory and respond to adverse health impacts among women who have experienced it. We partner with the Federal and State Governments, health sector, and communities so that health workers can provide appropriate medical care and counseling to women who have experienced female genital mutilation/cutting and effectively advocate against it. We also collaborate with local organizations and leaders to create strategies to eliminate female genital mutilation/cutting and help survivors overcome their experiences.

Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

Addressing Social Norms that Influence Gender-Based Violence, Child Marriage, and Early Pregnancy

In Nigeria, social norms that influence intimate partner violence, sexual violence, early adolescent pregnancy, child marriage, and other related factors contribute to the suffering and death of many mothers. MOMENTUM Country and Global Leadership partners with organizations in Ebonyi and Sokoto states to:

  • Prevent violence against women and girls and mitigate its consequences.
  • Address the causes of child, early, and forced marriages.
  • Help young women begin using voluntary contraception as early as possible to avoid adolescent pregnancy.
  • Build capacities of facilities to identify, manage and refer cases of violence against women and girls.
  • Contribute to a strengthened GBV referral network.

We also work with local partners in Ebonyi and Sokoto states to explore social norms that make it harder for women and children to live healthy lives. In addition, we use the Integrated Technical Organizational Capacity Assessment tool to help local partners address gender-based violence, early marriage, and adolescent pregnancy. Finally, we use the Behaviorally-Focused Applied Political Economy Analysis to engage local leaders in changing harmful social norms.

Learn more about our program fighting gender-based violence in Nigeria.

Richard Z. Taylor, USAID/Nigeria
Private Health Care Sector

Understanding the Costs of Delivering Private and Public Health Care

Seventy-one percent of health spending in Nigeria is funded domestically by the private sector.3 However, little is known about the cost of private health care, making it difficult for government decision-makers to effectively allocate resources within the health system. In Ebonyi state, MOMENTUM Private Healthcare Delivery is conducting a study comparing health costs—especially for maternal health services and family planning— in the private, private nonprofit, and public sectors so that publicly funded health programs can decide whether and how to work with private providers.

Karen Kasmauski/MCSP

Interested in partnering with us or learning more about our work in Nigeria? Contact us here or check out our regional reference brief.

Learn more about USAID’s programs in Nigeria.


  1. Maheu-Giroux, Mathieu et al. 2015. “Prevalence of symptoms of vaginal fistula in 19 sub-Saharan Africa countries: a meta-analysis of national household survey data.” The Lancet Global Health 3(5): e271-e278.
  2. National Population Commission (NPC) and ICF. Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) 2018. Abuja, Nigeria and Rockville, MD: NPC and ICF, 2018.
  3. World Health Organization (WHO). Domestic private health expenditure (PVT-D) as percentage of current health expenditure (CHE) (%). Global Health Observatory.

Last updated September 2022.

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