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EQUAL Research Reveals Factors Impacting Maternal Health in Yobe State

Findings from the Ensuring Quality Access and Learning for Mothers and Newborns in Conflict-Affected Contexts (EQUAL) project being implemented by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) have shown that gender, cultural, and religious beliefs affect care seeking for mothers and their babies.

EQUAL Principal Investigator in Nigeria, Dr. Emilia Iwu stated this at an event in Abuja organized by the project to disseminate research findings from key informant interviews and literature reviews.

“EQUAL project is funded by the UK International Development from the UK Government. The research is working to generate evidence on effective approaches for delivering life-saving maternal and newborn health (MNH) in countries affected by conflict. The duration of the project being conducted in Yobe State is from July 2021 to April 2026,” she said.

She added that findings have revealed that women encounter violence, sexual abuse, and limited healthcare access resulting in preventable maternal deaths and psychological stress.

“While MNH services are generally accepted, cultural norms such as women requiring spousal permission to access medical care and the religious beliefs that home births are divinely sanctioned hinder the timely seeking of maternal and newborn health services,” Dr. Iwu said.   

She noted that despite existing maternal newborn health policies and initiatives in Yobe State, persistent challenges such as inadequate funding, equipment and health workers hinder effective implementation of the policies.

Dr. Iwu urged the government and partners to increase funding dedicated to free medical care to address inadequate financing and capped number of beneficiaries.

“Boko Haram insurgency in Yobe State has disrupted MNH services. There has been destruction of health care facilities, theft of medical equipment, displacement of staff, heightened risks of abduction and murder of health care workers.”

The Principal Investigator said that addressing determinants of care seeking through investments in the health system, creation of awareness, social behavior change and improved quality and coverage of care will improve access to health services by women and children.

Assistant Director of Education at the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Mr. Tinbuak Yanai, who was also at the dissemination event, said that “Proper training and scaling up of training of health care workers will improve the health of mothers and newborn babies in Yobe state.”

Stakeholders from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), International Rescue Committee (IRC), Clinton Health Access Initiative (CHAI), Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), USAID, Integrated Health Program (IHP) and others participated in the dissemination event.

The EQUAL consortium consists of partners such as the International Rescue Committee (IRC), the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN), the John Hopkins Center for Humanitarian Health, the Somali Research and Development Institute (SORDI), and the Catholic University of Bukavu (UCB).

ANRiN Project Provides Nutrition Services to 202,500 Children in Kano

More than 209,062 women and 202,529 children under five years have received nutrition services from the Accelerating Nutrition in Nigeria (ANRiN) project being implemented by the Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) in nine Local Government Areas in Kano State.

ANRiN Project Director, Dr. Ishaya Madaki, who stated this, said that the project is improving the nutritional status of pregnant women through provision of iron, folic acid tablets and intermittent malaria prophylaxis.

“IHVN is also providing zinc-fortified ORS for the management of diarrhea in children 6-59 months of age. Our work is also aimed at improving vitamin A supplementation and routine deworming of children under five years. We adopted approaches such as bi-monthly communication outreaches, town hall meetings, radio jingles, and a men’s forum to sensitize men about actively supporting their wives to access and utilize the basic nutrition services,” he said.

The Project Director added that “in some communities, the women want to access care but their husbands tend to stop them because they do not know about the services that we offer. We have decided to sensitize them and are sure that with this, more women and children will benefit.”

He added that the project has more than 220 community volunteers combing Bunkure, Dala, Fagge, Gwale, Kano Municipal, Kumbotso, Nasarawa Tarauni and Wudil Local Government Areas in Kano State to provide nutrition services.

Project beneficiaries have said that the ANRiN project has improved the health of their families. 38-year-old Hajara Ahmed from Bunkure LGA said that she has seen many positive changes in her children. An ANRiN community volunteer visited their home to educate them about hygiene and good nutrition. “The community volunteer gave us Zinc ORC, micronutrients, vitamin A, and albendazole tablets. My daughter who was ill with diarrhea, is now healthy,” she said.

Another beneficiary, Sadiya Abubakar, said that “My husband is hardly around because his job requires him to always be on the road – he is a driver. We do not have a pharmacy in this community, that is why I could not take my children for treatment.”

She was relieved when a community volunteer educated her and administered medications to her ten-month and two-year-old children respectively.

IHVN, AFM, FCT Fire Service Collaborate on Fire Safety

The Institute of Human Virology Nigeria (IHVN) has collaborated with Africa Fire Mission (AFM) and Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Fire Service to train firefighters from Baze University, National Judicial Institute (NJI), Nile University and National Open University Nigeria (NOUN) on fire safety.

More than 25 Safety and Security Officers representing the organizations participated in the four-day training on “Advancing Firefighting Operations, Tactics and Leadership” held in the IHVN Campus in Abuja.

IHVN Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Dr. Charles Olalekan Mensah who welcomed participants to the training said that partnership with the Fire Service and organizations located in the  IHVN Campus environs is important to forestall fire incidences in the vicinity.

AFM facilitated the training and conducted a needs assessment to identify tools and equipment needed to further develop FCT Fire Service. AFM also donated firefighting equipment like firefighting coats, boots, gloves, suspenders and helmets to them for enhanced effectiveness in responding to fire incidents, saving lives, property, and critical infrastructure.

AFM Co-Founder and Executive Director, Nancy Moore, said that “the hands-on training was focused on preparedness for IHVN’s partners in the Committee of Stakeholders on general safety and security of Cadastral Zone C00 Abuja FCT.”

Head of Operations, FCT Fire Service, Engr. Adesina Abioye, stated that the training has updated Fire Service Staff with modern professional ways of rescue and firefighting, and served as a refresher course on fire prevention and administration for the Senior Staff who participated.  “The importance of the partnership cannot be overemphasized; it has brought tremendous benefits to the partners and the stakeholders community. What would have cost the FCT administration a huge sum of money was made available at no cost due to partnership,” he said.

Program Officer, Pharmacy – Katsina

The Institute of Human Virology (IHVN) is a leading and reputable non-governmental organization addressing infectious and non-infectious diseases such as HIV, tuberculosis, and cancer through prevention, diagnosis, treatment, capacity building, research, care, and support services. IHVN is in partnership with local and international organizations and the different tiers of the government of Nigeria at the national, state, and local levels. The Institute’s vision is to provide quality health services, capacity building, and research in West Africa and beyond.

To further drive quality and engender global best practices in HIV and TB care and treatment,

IHVN is seeking qualified candidates for the position below:

PositionProgram Officer, Pharmacy
Reports toState Pharmacy Lead/Pharmacy Manager/State Manager
Scheduled Work TimeMonday – Friday (Flexibility, willing to travel and work weekends)
Location: Katsina

Opening Date: 20/02/2024

Closing Date:  27/02/2024

Description and objectives:

Under the supervision of the Pharmacy State Manager/Project Director, he/ she will ensure high-quality pharmacy/logistics services in line with the 95-95-95 UNAIDS goal. He/She will work in close collaboration with the PSM stakeholders at the States to ensure the implementation of all Pharmacy and Supply chain strategies and provide technical guidance for program implementation according to the National Guidelines and policies.


  • Mentors the Facility Pharmacists to maintain Good Pharmacy Practice (GPP), Pharmaceutical care and Pharmacovigilance.
  • Supports the Facility Pharmacists to prepare and generate bimonthly CRRF reports.
  • In collaboration with the state LMCU, generates and reviews bimonthly last-mile distribution plans and processes.
  • Supports the Facility Pharmacists in closely monitoring prescription patterns, ensuring proper documentation, side effects monitoring (Pharmacovigilance), reducing dispensing errors, etc.
  • Provides regular and routine supportive supervision and mentoring to site staff on dispensing and patient counseling, side effects monitoring, and detection of ADRs.
  • Sensitizes Clinicians and Prescribers on regimen streamlining and any guidance to
  • Ensures proper use and documentation of various Pharmacy tools like Adverse Drug Reporting forms, Logistics inventory tools, Pharmacy SOPs.
  • Supports the implementation of the Community Pharmacy ART program in the State.
  • Closely monitors the KPIs of the Community Pharmacy and ensure the quality service delivery is maintained.
  • Continuous mentoring of the CPs to ensure program implantation according to the SOPs.
  • Deals with site-based issues and liaises with the State Pharmacy lead and Regional Manager.
  • Periodic stock-taking/audit of site stock, in collaboration with the Focal Pharmacists at sites.

Experience, skills, and competencies:

  • He/she must have at least 3 years’ experience in supply chain management of HIV/AIDS medicines and commodities.
  • Must be familiar with the NHLMIS platform and monitoring and interpreting supply chain indicators.
  • Knowledgeable of Pharmacovigilance and the available reporting channels.
  • Experience in the provision of LMIS and Pharmaceutical care training.
  • Must have at least 2 years’ experience with program planning, assessment, and implementation of HIV programs.
  • Previous experience in HIV-related operational research is an advantage.
  • Good knowledge of current trends and normative guidance (national and international) in HIV clinical care and service delivery.
  • Ability to communicate effectively and fluently in the English language (oral and written) and good inter and intrapersonal communication and facilitation skills.
  • Proficiency in the use of Microsoft Office packages, presentation skills, and video conferencing are required.
  • Good analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Proficiency in program narrative and proposal writing, data evaluation, and excellent report writing.
  • Excellent persuasive skills, and good stakeholders’ management track record.
  • Fundamental skills in project planning, implementation, and monitoring.
  • Must be proactive and deliver quality work on time.
  • Be willing and able to work effectively in a team.

Educational qualifications and experience

  • Must possess a degree in a B.Pharm/Pharm D
  • A Postgraduate qualification/Masters level training in Public Health, Pharmacy
  • Must be registered with the Pharmacist Council of Nigeria and have evidence of current practicing license.

Equal employment opportunity statement

IHVN is an equal employment employer. We do not engage in practices that discriminate against any person employed or seeking employment based on religion, gender, national or ethnic origin, age, marital status, genetic information, or any other status or characteristic protected under applicable laws.

Mode of Application:

  • Application letter and detailed curriculum vitae in Microsoft Word format should be forwarded to the Assistant Director, Human Resources through this email address:[email protected] This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
  • This advert closes 7 days from the date of this publication, and only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.