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Rural adult education and the health transformation of pastoral women of Northern Nigeria

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Recently, politics of education in Nigeria have shifted from urban to rural literacy, which led to the development of programmes such as the nomadic women's adult education programme. The primary objective of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of the programme's implementation strategies, and the extent to which the health educational objectives have been achieved and practised by the Fulani pastoral women. A qualitative narrative research design was used to collect social data from the participants. The choice of design considered the cultural interactive patterns and gender socialization process of the women's ethnic group. The data collection process involved focus-group interviews and participant observations, while data analysis included translation and transcription of the oral to text data, followed by categorization and coding processes which resulted in major expected and 'ordinary' themes. Triangulation as a validity procedure was used to corroborate the stories of the women study participants. The study major findings revealed that the objectives of the programme have been achieved in the area of personal health empowerment, knowledge and practices that minimized reproductive morbidities, fostered better family planning practices, healthier food and nutritional practices, improved hygienic and sanitation practices, and child healthcare first-aid therapies. Excerpts from the women's 'voices' are cited to support their health transformational claims. The paper concludes by elucidating major learner challenges, as well as suggesting administrative remedies that will minimize these, serve as a guide for future policy reforms and research and help sustain the transformational health practices of the women.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Northern British Columbia, Canada

Publication date: 01 September 2009

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