We are currently collaborating with the University of Hull, led by Professor Lesley Smith (Professor of Women’s Public Health at the Institute of Clinical and Applied Health Research) to tackle the health challenges faced by adolescents in Northern Nigeria. Funded by Research England’s Global Challenges Research Fund and in partnership with INASP, our team is sharing their expertise in Jigawa and Kano States to identify the health needs of adolescents and develop improvements to healthcare practice and policy in the region.
Northern Nigeria have some of the poorest human development outcomes in Nigeria for women and children across a wide range of health indicators. Addressing adolescent health issues – such as sexual and reproductive health and rights, substance misuse, mental health, nutrition, personal/menstrual hygiene, violence and injury – is a priority in the region. This project was informed by extensive engagement and involvement of a wide range of stakeholders including representatives from the Jigawa and Kano State Ministries of Health and Education; policy makers (including state legislators); community-based organisations; traditional and religious leaders; and school teachers and pupils to ensure that the study addressed questions of importance across a variety of stakeholders.
The project team has conducted the first inclusive research symposium about adolescent health in Northern Nigeria bringing together policy makers, traditional leaders, school administrators and teachers, development sector workers, early career researchers, school pupils, youths, and members of the public to discuss ways to improve adolescent health in the region.
Furthermore, the team conducted a mixed-methods study comprising 1096 adolescents from four secondary schools (two each in Kano and Jigawa states) to understand health awareness, beliefs and behaviours of adolescents attending secondary schools in Jigawa and Kano States, Nigeria. Through the SHP, FAYOHI and the University of Hull are building research capacity for over 30 early career researchers in Northern Nigeria by sponsoring a MOOC on research writing and effective communication.