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Trop Doct. 1999 Jan;29(1):12-8.

Enhancing participation of women of child-bearing age in a literacy for health project in southeastern Nigeria.

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Rollins School of Public Health, Department of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA.


This paper summarizes the approach of a 'literacy for health project' in southeastern Nigeria to recruit and maintain participants. Literacy for health projects enhance and develop the educational abilities of women while at the same time acting as a vehicle to combat the problems associated with maternal and child health. We describe ways to foster and enhance the participation of women of child-bearing age in a literacy for health project operated in Igbo-speaking southeastern Nigeria. Findings reveal that of four literacy centres, participation rates ranged from 50.35% to 61.1%. We maintain that efforts designed to impart the transference of literacy and numeracy skills to such women in southeastern Nigeria must: (a) address the farming needs, practices and operations of the target community prior to programme implementation; (b) consider the inclusion of counsellors in addition to traditional village health workers and/or literacy instructors; (c) determine the impact of using other sites based on community activities; as opposed to traditional locations such as schools and churches; (d) use incentives to motivate participants; and (e) extend the current level of participation beyond focus groups to planning beyond curriculum development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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