Women's and Children's Health

Research in Action

With a population of 144 million as of 2009, Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa. Current trends in population growth are likely to continue, given that 44% of the Nigerian population is under 15 years of age. Despite a need for contraception and family planning, the country’s rate of contraceptive use is just 15%. 

Because of Dr. Melissa Gilliam’s interest in family planning and reproductive health, GHI helped Dr. Gilliam establish a partnership with Dr. Oladosu Ojengbede, director of the Center for Population Health at the University of Ibadan, Nigeria. The multidisciplinary team has since expanded to include Alicia Menendez, PhD, Associate Professor at the Harris School of Public Policy. Listen to Dr. Gilliam and Dr. Ojengbede discuss how their two universities can combine forces to reduce maternal mortality on WBEZ's Worldview.

Current collaborations between Drs. Gilliam and Ojengbede focus on developing a comprehensive approach to decreasing maternal mortality due to postpartum maternal hemorrhage, maternal child HIV transmission, and unintended pregnancy among Nigerian women.

Grand Challenges

Drs. Melissa Gilliam and Oladosu Ojengbede’s project, Preventing Hemmorrhage Saving Lives: Tapping the Power of Narrative was selected as one of the 77 finalists for the Saving Lives at Birth: A Grand Challenge for Development. An animated video about the project can be seen below:

The Edge of Joy

Filmmaker Dawn Sinclair Shapiro’s documentary “The Edge of Joy” examines Nigeria’s battle with maternal mortality, and highlights the collaboration between Drs. Ojengbede and Gilliam. See the trailer and read more about “The Edge of Joy.”