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GFMER Country Coordinators

Aishatu Abubakar-Sadiq

GFMER Coordinator for Nigeria

Aishatu Abubakar-Sadiq

Dr. Aishatu Abubakar-Sadiq, MBBS, MPH-FE, PgDM, PGcert
Reproductive Health Specialist/Medical State Epidemiologist, Ministry of Health, Kaduna State, Nigeria
Visiting Gynecologists, Women and Children’s Hospital, Kaduna State
E-mail: ayeesha_mamie@yahoo.com

Aishatu Abubakar-Sadiq was born on the 29th of January 1977 and obtained a certificate in leadership skills and multi-cultural understanding as part of a World wildlife foundation (WWF) and United Nations sponsored program in Virginia U.S.A. She graduated from Ahmadu Bello University Zaria with a Bachelor of medicine, Bachelor of surgery (M.B.B.S) and obtained post-graduate certificates in clinical medicine from Harvard Medical School, U.S.A in 2006/2007. She also received clinical training and a post-graduate diploma in fertility medicine from a Lagos based fertility consortium in 2010. Her master’s Degree in Medical Field epidemiology is from the Centers for disease control Nigeria based field epidemiology program. She is scheduled to commence a PhD program in maternal and child health.

She was awarded with the following:

  1. 1992: Worldwide life foundation award for Essay writing/travel award to Global Youth Village, Bedford. Virginia
  2. 1994: Nigeria Postal Service National award for essay writing in Travel/adventure category
  3. 2007 Merit Award, National Youth Service Corps, Kaduna State Branch
  4. 2010: Merit Award, Kaduna State Pilgrims Welfare Board
  5. 2015: Centers for disease control (CDC) travel award to cancer, road traffic injury and tobacco workshop, Atlanta. U.S.A
  6. 2015: Geneva State chancellery travel grants to attend GFMER intensive workshop.

She served as the Head of Kaduna state’s women health clinics in Saudi Arabia during the Hajj pilgrimage in 2007 and 2010. Currently works as the state epidemiologist-Kaduna State in Northern Nigeria. Providing leadership and training in emergency response, outbreak investigation, surveillance and health reforms.  She also assists with weekly fertility clinics and facilitation of reproductive health talks and outreach programs for teenagers. She has given health talks on reproductive health as part of ‘’Women health series” on private Television stations and radio programs. In partnership with an indigenous language newspaper ‘’Aminiya” I have maintained a Phone-in clinic which discusses fertility issues with non-English speakers.

During the Field epidemiology program her postings were to:

  • The Nigeria centers for disease control’s: Early warning alert and response network (EWARN) set up in response to humanitarian crises following devastating floods experienced in some parts of the country. We developed protocols, standard operating procedures and trained state based emergency response teams.
  • Monitoring and evaluation unit of the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy control program (NTBLCP) of the federal ministry of health. I assisted in revising National surveillance procedures for Tuberculosis and Leprosy, Midterm strategic plan for Tuberculosis and leprosy control and Protocols for management of Pediatric Tuberculosis.
  • National stop transmission of polio program (NSTOP): Worked as a member of the Management support team for polio immunization in Kano state Led teams to enumerate missed Nomadic settlements / immunize Under-five children in these communities and conducted missed children and refusal studies in various states. Activities were undertaken in Kaduna, Kano, Katsina, Abuja and Zamfara states in Northern Nigeria.

I speak six languages and am widely travelled.

She was among 15 top graduates/awardees at the Intensive GFMER’s workshop in Geneva for Sexual Reproductive Health Course; From Research to Practice in 2014.

Country Situation

Nigeria currently has an estimated population of 150 million, the largest bin sub-Saharan Africa. As of 2013, Nigeria’s gross domestic product (GDP) stood at $262.6 billion (World Bank, 2013). The country is classified as a lower middle income country by the World Bank. Nigeria’s health sector is characterized by wide regional disparities in status, service delivery, and resource availability. In view of this situation, the government of Nigeria initiated several interventions including the Midwives Service Scheme (MSS); the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Program, Maternal and Child Health (SURE-P-MCH); and systematic PHC infrastructure upgrades through the Ward Health System. Under the MSS, retired and newly qualified midwives provide services at PHC facilities in underserved communities around the country. The scheme, funded through MDG debt relief gains on a cost-sharing basis among the three tiers of government, has trained and deployed approximately 4,000midwives and 1,000 community health extension workers (CHEWs) in 1,000 PHC facilities. This has improved access to skilled birth attendants in 375 LGAs across the country. Overall, 23 percent of women age 15-19 have begun childbearing (17 percent have had a child and 5 percent are pregnant with their first child). A larger proportion of teenagers in rural areas than in urban areas have begun childbearing (32 percent versus 10 percent). A comparison of the geopolitical zones shows that the North West has the largest proportion (36 percent) of teenagers who have started childbearing, while the South East (8 percent) and South West (8 percent) have the lowest proportions. The percentage of teenagers who have started childbearing decreases with increasing education (NDHS 2013)

Low level of knowledge of reproductive health among adolescents and limited access of young people to youth-friendly health services have been identified as underlying factors contributing to the rising trend of HIV/AIDS in Nigeria.

Maternal Mortality in Nigeria

Nigeria still maintains a high maternal mortality ratio of about 545-630 deaths per 100,000 live births with consistent regional variations (Northern states have the highest figures). Data from NDHS 2013 shows that the maternal mortality rate among women age 15-49 is 1.1 deaths per 1,000woman-years of exposure. By five-year age groups, the maternal mortality rate is highest among women age 35-39 (1.6), followed by those age 20-24 (1.3). The percentage of female deaths that are maternal deaths varies by age and ranges from 12 percent among women age 45-49 to 44 percent among women age maternal mortality ratio (MMR) of 576 deaths per 100,000 live births during the seven-year period preceding the survey. In other words, for every 1,000 live births in Nigeria during the seven years preceding the 2013 NDHS, approximately six women died during pregnancy, during childbirth, or within two months of childbirth. The lifetime risk of maternal death (0.033) indicates that about 3 percent of women died during pregnancy, childbirth, or within two months of childbirth. The estimated maternal mortality ratio in 2013 (576) is almost the same as in the 2008 NDHS

Contraceptive Usage in Nigeria

Information from NDHS 2013 shows knowledge of any contraceptive method is widespread in Nigeria, with 85 percent of all women and 95 percent of all men knowing at least one method of contraception. Modern methods are more widely known than traditional methods; 84 percent of all women know of a modern method, while only 56 percent know a traditional method. Similarly, 94 percent of all men know of a modern method, while 65 percent know of a traditional method. The modern method most commonly known among women is the pill (71 percent), followed by injectibles and male condoms (68 percent and 67 percent, respectively). Although the least known modern methods are male sterilization, female condoms, and implants (16 percent, 29 percent, and 25 percent, respectively), knowledge of these three methods has increased markedly since 2008 (when the proportions were 8 percent, 15 percent and 10 percent, respectively)

HIV/AIDS in Nigeria

The current national prevalence of HIV/AIDS is 4.1 percent, a decrease from 5.6 percent in NDHS 2008. 58 percent of women and 74 percent of men know that consistent and correct use of condoms can reduce the spread of HIV. Seventy-eight percent of women and 85 percent of men know that limiting sexual intercourse to one uninfected partner who has no other partners can reduce the chances of contracting HIV, and 54 percent of women and 70 percent of men know that using condoms and limiting sexual intercourse to one uninfected partner can reduce the risk of HIV infection (NDHS 2013). Poverty, low literacy levels, high rates of casual and transactional unprotected sex in the general population, particularly among youth between the ages of 15 and 24, low levels of male and female condom use, cultural and religious factors, as well as stigma and discrimination are major factors in the transmission of HIV in Nigeria (NACA, 2007).

GFMER in Nigeria

The Oxford Maternal and Perinatal Health Institute (OMPHI), Oxford University in collaboration with Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER), a WHO Collaborating Centre in Education and Research in Human Reproduction and Community Health and Research Initiative, Nigeria had organized a free training for health professionals to improve their knowledge on Evidence Based Management of Pre-eclampsia and Eclampsia in December 2011. Thirty five professionals that included doctors and midwives participated and 34 successful ones were issued with certificates in a pilot training in Nigeria that was held in Sokoto State. It was funded by MacArthur Foundation through the Maternal Health Task Force in Engender Health.

During one week training on the Kaduna HIV/AIDS indicator survey (KADAIS) at the Nigeria Field Epidemiology and Laboratory Training Programme (NFELTP) office in Abuja 7th-11th December 2015. Dr Aishatu Abubakar Sadiq presented on the Geneva Foundation for Medical Education and Research (GFMER). She introduced the GFMER and its various online study programmes. Emphasis was made on the 8 month Sexual and reproductive health research course (SRHR) and its various modules on adolescent health, sexually transmitted infections etc. Also a summary of the Geneva one week workshop for 15 awardees of the SRHR training course was presented with emphasis on selected research topics. In attendance were Faculty members, graduates and residents of the NFELTP. Questions included; the cost of the study programme, possibility of deferring admissions, flexibility of assignment submission and partnerships available to residents.

A comprehensive information session is scheduled for 9th February 2015 at the Tafawa Balewa Guest inn, Kaduna State. The one day event will involve a keynote address on ‘’maternal mortality in Northern Nigeria’’ and in attendance will be stakeholders from health institutions, universities, non-governmental organizations and the media.


  1. Sadiq AA, Sufyan A., Suleiman A. (2014). Cholera Outbreak in Bakura Local Government Area, Zamfara State-Nigeria. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, Number 5 supplement, Vol 91, 139.
  2. Sadiq AA, Obasanya J., Nguku P. (2014). Leprosy in Nigeria (2008-2012): An evaluation of the National Surveillance System. The American Journal of Tropical Medicine & Hygiene, Number 5 supplement, Vol 91, 289.

Conference presentations

  1. Tephinet Conference; Jordan November 2012
  2. Epidemic intelligence service conference (EIS) 2013 and 2014; Finalist in Photo-medical series at both conferences.
  3. Afenet Conference; Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 2013: Presented 2 Oral posters on Polio and Healthcare delivery.
  4. American society for Tropical medicine and Hygiene (ASTMH); New Orleans. November 2014: 2 accepted abstracts (Posters) on Leprosy surveillance and Cholera.
  5. 14th World congress on public health; Kolkata, India 2015: 2 abstracts on maternal health (poster) and Leprosy surveillance (Oral).
  6. 64th American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference, September 2015: Oral paper on healthcare delivery to Nomads
  7. IEA-Thailand Conference November 2015: Oral Paper on Outbreak of urinary Schistosomiasis in a school for Migrant Children
  8. 1st Saudi Epidemiology Conference, Jeddah November 2015: Oral paper on Outbreak of Urinary Schistosomiasis in a School for migrant children.