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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Public Health Challenges in Nigeria: Lack of Government Revenue

According to the 2011 WHO statistics, the overall life expectancy at birth is 54 years, infant mortality rate is 86 per 1000 birth while maternal mortality ratio is 840 per 100,000 live births.  Nigeria is confronted with major public health problems such as infectious diseases, sewage disposal, health insurance, water supply, air pollution, noise pollution, environmental radiation, housing, solid waste disposal, disaster management, control of vector some diseases, doctor-population ratio, population-bed ratio, population per health facility, payment system/methods, utilization of care, access to care, improper co-ordination of donor funds, material mortality, infant mortality, health financing, poor sanitation and hygiene, incessant doctors strike, disease surveillance, smoking of tobacco, brain drain, rapid urbanization, non-communicable diseases, alcohol abuse, environment degradation, road traffic injuries.

The death rate in Nigeria will continuously increase if there are no interventions to address the public health problems in Nigeria. According to the WHO Global Status Report on non-communicable diseases, Nigeria, together with other developing countries have the highest death rate caused by non-communicable diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancer, diabetes, chronic respiratory diseases, sickle cell disease, asthma, coronary heart disease, obesity, stroke, hypertension, road traffic injuries and mental disorders.

The World Health Statistics have reported that the malaria mortality rate in Nigeria is 156 per 100,000 population. Nigeria has one of the highest Tuberculosis burden in the world (311 per 100,000) resulting in the largest burden in Africa. This is according to USAID. The proper design of programs to address the public health problems in Nigeria will no doubt go a long way in improving the health status of the people. Though there are programs designed to address some of the health issues, there is a need to solve many other health problems.

The Nigerian primary health care has not been helpful in solving the numerous health problems effectively. Equity, accessibility, affordability, quality, effectiveness and efficiency remains a problem in Nigeria. Cost effective interventions for priority public health issues such as non-communicable diseases, injuries, maternal and child health are hardly being used.

According to 2010 UNAIDS reports, the inter-sectoral cooperation and collaboration between the different health-related ministries remains a major issue. And, also, there are about 1000 new infections of HIV in each day in Nigeria. WHO statistic has shown that the number of reported cases of malaria increased from 2, 834, 174 in 2008, to 4,295,689 in 2009. The government has done nothing to improve the health status in Nigeria. The national health system is weak, its management is ineffective and inefficient. The human resources between urban and rural area remains undistributed. Over 70 percent of doctors are in urban areas where only 48 percent of the population live, leaving 52 percent of the population who live in the rural area at the mercy of inadequate health personnel.

There is inadequate supply of health workers. Also, there is limited opportunities for career advancement and continuing education for health workers. Governments at all levels are yet to review their allocation of resources to health sector in line with internationally recommended standards. Only 1 percent of the health budget is allocated to preventive services while over 70% is allocated to curative services. Additional avenues for financing the health system such as community financing and donor/partner funds have not been fully explored and utilized. The national health insurance scheme (NHIS) which is over six years old cover less than 10 percent of Nigerians. The construction and institutionalization of a National health account is still in the works. There is insufficient evidence on the number of girls who die from female genital mutilation in Nigeria.


1 comment:

  1. The underlying mission of public health is to improve the conditions and behaviors that affect health so that all people can attain it. bernard bensaid


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