Sakina Amin Bello

2019 Winner

Position: Program Adviser, Reproductive Health
Organization: Pathfinder International, Nigeria

Masters in Public Health from University of Liverpool

Additional Degrees and Certifications:

Bachelor in Medicine and Surgery, MB, BS.
1. Family Planning and HIV Service Integration
2. Community-Based Family Planning
3. Gender and Sexual and Reproductive Health 101
4. Healthy Timing and Spacing of Pregnancy (HTSP)
5. LA/PMs – A Smart FP/RH Program Investment
6. Postpartum Family Planning
7. Promising Programmatic Approaches for Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health (AYSRH)
8. Protecting Life in Global Health Assistance and Statutory Abortion Restrictions – 2019
9. US Abortion and FP Requirements – 2019
10.Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health
11. Leadership and Management

“Dr. Sakina leads the Advance Family Planning project in Nigeria. She builds capacity of state-level champions to advocate for FP budgets & policies. She also plays a key role in revising national FP policies, incl. task-shifting & DMPA-SC scale-up.”

– Liz Bayer, Program Officer at Advance Family Planning project, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health

Describe your contributions to and achievements in family planning.

Through the Advance Family Planning project, my work involves building the advocacy capacity of civil society groups to ensure that FP is prioritized through increased budgetary commitments and implementation of relevant policies that support FP. These efforts led to increased budgetary allocations and releases in the geographies where we support and ensures sustainability of family planning programs beyond donor support.

I worked on a USAID funded project aimed at generating evidence on task-shifting, which led to the expansion of the task shifting policy to allow community health workers to provide implants in Nigeria.

Similarly, I played a key role in advocacy efforts that led to the inclusion of DMPA-SC on Nigeria’s Essential Medicines List.

What sparked your passion for family planning?

Access to safe, voluntary FP is a human right, and is central to women’s empowerment. It is a key factor in reducing maternal mortality (MM), yet in Nigeria with extremely high MM, there is a high unmet need due to reasons ranging from lack of access to information or services to lack of support from their partners or communities. This threatens their ability to build a better future for themselves, their families and their communities. This sparked my passion to ensure the gaps are bridged.

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

I provide technical leadership for program development and implementation of the Advance Family Planning project, being implemented in 12 Nigerian states. I also provides technical assistance to stakeholders at the federal and state-levels, during the development of strategic plans, training manuals and national policies that promote family planning.

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?

Young people form more than one third of the population in Nigeria and are most in need of family planning. However, there are a lot of barriers to access to services and capacity gaps in advocacy. I will use the opportunity to partner with existing youth organizations to build and strengthen their advocacy capacity through intentional mentorship, so they are able to advocate for youth inclusion in critical decision making, and implementation of favorable AYSRH policies.