Christian Science Monitor: The family planning ladies of Nigeria

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Women in Nigeria face a pervasive stigma against seeking sexual and reproductive care, which often prevents them from going to clinics or hospitals to learn about their contraceptive options. Marie Stopes Ladies in northern Nigeria understand this dilemma and provide a unique solution. Part traveling saleswoman, part community health worker, Marie Stopes Ladies are a network of mobile midwives, nurses and health workers with a unique selling point: they come to you with family planning information and options.

A new piece in the Christian Science Monitor artfully illustrates the day-to-day responsibilities of Aishatu Abdullahi, a Marie Stopes Lady in Nigeria.

Abdullahi has seven children and says her goal is to give women control over when they get pregnant. That choice has proved powerful. Local women now pass her mobile phone number furtively among themselves, so that Abdullahi’s phone is constantly lighting up with unknown callers seeking her services.

We currently have 115 Marie Stopes Ladies working in Nigeria, a number that’s set to double this year. Last year, they made about 37,000 house visits across the country. And worldwide, the 730 women in the program working in 15 countries made nearly 800,000 house calls.

Read the full piece from the Christian Science Monitor.

Our Global Impact Last Year


women using a MSI
method of contraception


unintended pregnancies


unsafe abortions prevented


pregnancy-related deaths prevented