Rabiat Ahmed

2019 Winner

Position: Social & Behavior Change Communication Manager
Organization: Population Services International, Nigeria
Current Location: Nigeria, West Africa

Masters in Health Planning & Management from University of Benin

Additional Degrees and Certifications:
Post Graduate Diploma In Education(PGDE): Sir Kashim Ibrahim College of Education, Maiduguri Borno State
Bachelor of Technology(B.TECH) Microbiology, Federal University of Technology, Minna Niger State
Managing Upwards Training, BEST4i Limited
Writing Quickly & effectively, PSI university Online course
National HCT Training; Federal Ministry of Health
IUD Course: Global Health e Learning Center online Course

“She is a Health Communication expert who is committed to bridging the gap between knowledge & practice of FP among women in Nigeria. She has contributed to increased uptake of FP through Demand Generation & Advocacy in Northern & southern Nigeria

Yauri Aduak, Monitoring & Evaluation Expert at Independent Consultant

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Since my passion lies in bridging the gap between knowledge and practice of family planning among women and their partners in my country, I have been at the forefront of implementing the Women’s Health Project since 2009. I have trained over 250 Interpersonal communication agents on the skills needed to reach out to women, follow up, identify & address barriers to FP uptake in their communities. I have also established referral linkages between the community and over 300 health facilities which has helped improve uptake of FP services. Working with religious and community leaders to change the negative perception of FP in Northern Nigeria was a major feat for me as I was able to increase the uptake of LARCs from almost non-existent to over 7,000 in 2years.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

I grew up in Northern Nigeria where large family size is desired due to multiple factors ranging from religious belief to economic security. Due to high value placed on child-bearing, FP has been a controversial practice. As such, women tend to have many children they most often time cannot cater for. Children are usually sent out to fend for themselves under the guise of religious training. Seeing these children lack parental care sparked my interest in reaching out to women.

Give one or two examples of how you display leadership in your family planning work.:

I manage a vibrant team of 260 Interpersonal communication agents. They are provided coaching, mentoring & supportive supervision to enable them pass out quality & factual messages on FP to the women of reproductive ages in their communities & ensure they get to the clinic for services.
I have also led advocacy to religious & traditional leaders & other relevant stakeholders to garner support towards a sustainable FP intervention in communities & state of intervention.

If you are named a winner of 120 under 40, how will you use this new platform and the $1000 grant to advance your work?

The patriarchal nature of the society is one of the major challenges to FP uptake in Nigeria, the grant will be used to build the capacity of 50 men as peer educators to influence other men in their community to encourage spousal support.
I will also train & engage 100 community based traditional birth attendants as IPC agents. They play significant roles in the life of the poor/rural women who look up to them for childbirth as such will trust them to take up FP services after delivery.

Photos of the nominee in the field/at work