Nigeria has among the highest rates of maternal mortality in the world, especially in the north of the country.

Bauchi state in north-eastern Nigeria has around 5 million residents. The main religion is Islam, with prominent Hausa and Fulani ethnicities. Family sizes are large and polygamy is common. The 2013 Nigeria DHS  reported 73% of women in Bauchi have no education, compared with 38% nationally.

Local evidence about maternal health risk factors came from surveys in Bauchi State undertaken by CIET and FOMWAN in a previous project undertaken as part of the Nigeria Evidence Based Health Systems Initiative (NEHSI)A 2010 survey in Bauchi State found women were more likely to have complications in pregnancy and childbirth if: