3-H Child Spacing Project
The 3-H Project "Child Spacing, Family Health and Aids Education in Nigeria" started in 1995. In 2000, RFPD initiated and co-funded this project in six states through a $525,000 grant from TRF and a $1.2 million grant from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. In 2003, the project received an additional grant of US $200,000 from the European Union. This project has trained 106 doctors, 7,200 nurses, midwives and community health workers and 8,000 traditional birth attendants on how to talk to their patients about family planning.
Major Population-Based 3-H Projects in Nigeria
Africa presents perhaps the most intractable challenge to populationstabilization efforts. It also is a continent with the greatest need for population stabilization. Although RFPD has completed over 100 successful population-based projects in developing countries, RFPD's largest projects and greatest measurable successes have been in Nigeria.
Under the leadership of Professor, Dr. Robert Zinser (PDG D 1860 Germany), two Rotary Foundation 3-H grants supplemented by substantial outside funding have had a major impact in the largely Muslim area of six states in northern Nigeria. (Dr. Zinser is a past Chairman of the Rotarian Action Group for Population & Development). Closely associated with Dr. Zinser were Dr. Emmanuel Adedolapo Lufadeju, (PDG D 9120 in Nigeria), and PDG Kola Owoka. Both were essential in arranging for support from and participation by local medical, health, religious and political leaders. (Dr. Lufadeju is a Past Chairman of RFPD).
- Rate of maternal mortality in the project area 2,800 per 100,000, one of the highest in the world.
- Infant mortality – one of the highest in world
- Marriage as early as age 11
- Excessive early pregnancies
- Lack of Child Spacing services
- Lack of education
- Low socio-economic status
- Limited access to medical care
- Poor quality obstetrics and female circumcision
- Obstetric Fistula – operation & rehabilitation
- Allowing women to space their children when they are ready and able to love them with all their heart
- Protecting women and girls from unwanted pregnancies
- Preventing abortions
- Protecting women from cancer of the reproductive system
- Teaching men to change their attitudes toward women and child bearing
- AIDS education
In 1999, at the beginning of the 3-H Grant, Nigeria's population was 113.8 million, the largest country in Africa with a Fertility Rate of 6.2 children. By 2005, the population had grown to 131.5 million, but with a lower Fertility Rate of 5.53 children. The median age in 2005 was 18, ensuring continued population growth. The second large Project (below) begun in 2005 should result in an even lower Fertility Rate in the project area of northern Nigeria.
Following two earlier Matching Grant Pilot Projects in Child Spacing, the 3-H Grant was approved by the Rotary Foundation in 1999. This 3-H Grant received $500,000 in Rotary Foundation money and a David and Lucille Packard grant of $1,200,000. The goal was to reduce infant and maternal mortality by impressing on mothers the benefits of Child Spacing. Toaccomplish this goal, reproductive health training programs were carried out to increase contraceptive use from 6% to 15% in the first three years with a ten year goal of 50%
This 3-H project worked to educate, not only the general population of Northern Nigeria on these issues, but also to train doctors, midwives and other health workers on a variety of health care topics. Specific project objectives were to:
- Educate and inform families through public awareness campaigns - town criers etc.
- Train doctors, nurses, midwives, female health workers, traditional birth attendants
- Supply needed medical and health equipment in hospitals
- Establish child spacing services in these hospitals and at the grassroots level in existing health centers
- Involve the community at all levels including state and local governments, religious leaders, and teaching hospitals.
- Involve local Rotary clubs
Testimonial: " I am Jummai Mohammed, a 36 year old woman living in the northern part of Nigeria. I live with my husband of 24 years in Zaria. When time allows, I trade small goods to help make ends meet. We have 12 children, eight of them alive. In my neighborhood lives Hajai Hauwa who is a traditional birth attendant. She has been trained in counseling and Child Spacing through the Rotary Child Spacing project. At the local Government Health Clinic, a nurse examined me and prescribed an IUCD (intra-uterine contraceptive device). This service has completely turned my life around for the better. Socially, there are better relations with my husband, now that we know that not every intercourse will result in a pregnancy. My health is better now, and I always say thanks to God and to Hajai Hauwa."