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Tuesday, September 19, 2017

The Nigerian Healthcare System

The Nigerian healthcare system experienced several down-falls (Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria, 2010). Although Nigeria has its strategic position in Africa, the country is greatly undeserved in the healthcare sphere. The Nigerian health facilities such as health institutions, personnel, and medical equipment are inadequate in the country (Maternal Mortality in Nigeria, 2010). Various reforms have encouraged the Nigerian government to address the rate of issues in the healthcare system which are yet to be implemented at the state and local government area levels (Menizibeya Osain, 2011).

In 2009, according to the Nigerian National Health Conference, the healthcare system remains weak as proved by lack of coordination, fragmentation of services, resources (including drugs and medical supplies), inadequate and decay in the infrastructure, inequity in resource distribution, and access to care, and poor quality of care (Nigeria National Health Conference, 2009) .

The performance of the Nigerian healthcare system has been undermined after the two decades of the Military rule. For example, between the year 1985 and 1993 per capita investment in health had stagnated at about $1.00 per person compared to the international recommended level of $34 per person. The most devastating overall performance of the Nigeria's healthcare system was in 2005, Uganda allocated 11% of its total budget to healthcare, while Nigeria, in 2006, budgeted just 5.6%. Despite its high rate of HIV+ patients, Uganda was ranked 149/191 countries and came 39 steps ahead of Nigeria at 187/191 in the WHO report 2000 (WHO, 2000).

Due to years of under investment in the healthcare system, there has been an increase in poor infrastructure, inadequate modern equipment, and technology, and lack of healthcare practitioners. These have resulted to the absence of specialist services, poor quality of care and loss of confidence in the general health services especially the management of non-communicable diseases. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) estimates about 25 consultant oncologists to about 160 million Nigerians and cancer patients can access specialist care only in seven states, Lagos, Oyo, Kaduna, Edo, Ondo, Sokoto and Abuja (Pharm Access Foundation, 2015).


1.      Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria. (2010, November 23). Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria. Retrieved from
2.       Maternal Mortality in Nigeria. (2010, December 16). Retrieved from
3.       Menizibeya Osain. (2011, 0ct-dec 3). The Nigerian health care system: Need for integrating adequate medical intelligence and surveillance systems. Retrieved from
4.       Nigeria National Health Conference. (2009). Nigeria National Health Conference 2009 Communique. Retrieved from
5.       Pharm Access Foundation. (2015). Nigerian Health Sector, Market Study Report. Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Nigeria, Abuja. Retrieved from
6.       WHO. (2000). The Nigerian Health System. Retrieved from

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