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Challenges in Healthcare system in Nigeria

Nigeria is a country with an estimated population of over 200 million people.  There are challenges in the Nigerian healthcare system ranging from poor healthcare infrastructure, lack or inadequate funding, poor policy-making and implementations.  Hence there is need to tackle the problem of poor healthcare in the country because the healthcare in Nigeria had suffered several infectious diseases outbreaks for many years. The Federal Government had put forward various reforms to address the poor healthcare system in the country, but they are yet to be implemented in the state and local government area level.  Hence the country health care system is greatly underserved.

The key players of healthcare provision in Nigeria are the three tiers of government: Private providers, traditional medicine practitioners and complementary and alternative medicine providers.

Healthcare delivery in Nigeria needs a drastic reform due to so many problems that have lingered on over the years.  This has direct impacts on the productivity of citizens and Nigeria economic growth.  Over half of Nigeria’s population live on less than $1.90 a day (Poverty Head-count), making them one of the poorest populations in the world.

In 2018, Nigeria’s ranking was 187 out of 191 countries in the world in assessing the level of compliance with the Universal Health Coverage (UHC), because very little of the populace are health insured.  Also, the private expenditure on health care out of the total health expenditure was 74.85%. This implies that government expenditure for health was only 25.15 percent of all the money spent on health all across the nation.  Despite all these challenges, in 2020 the Nigeria government proposed to slash down its healthcare funding to 25.6% from the original 2020 budget of 43%.

Of the percentage spent on health by the citizens (74.85 %), about 70% is spent as out-of-pocket expenditure to pay for access to health services in both government and private facilities. Most of the remaining money spent by citizens on their health is spent on procuring “alternatives” which cost a lot of money.

Nigeria is endowed with better health personnel than most other African countries. However, considering its size and population, there are fewer health workers per unit population that are required to provide effective health services to the entire nation.  Sadly, the most commonly advertised reason is the ‘brain drain’ of health professionals to other countries, especially to Europe, America and Canada.

BERACAH INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INTIATIVES (BIDI and Peace and Progress for Nigeria (PPFN) intend to partner with our sponsors and stakeholders to achieve the following:

  1. Create general awareness on health among Nigerians.
  2. Provide solutions for easy access to healthcare, especially in the rural communities.
  3. Evaluate and enhance the impact of the National Health Insurance Scheme.
  4. Provide solutions that would reduce the brain drain syndrome in the health sector.
  5. Improve the healthcare infrastructure in Nigeria.
  6. Discourage the proliferation of fake and substandard drugs.


“Everyone has the right to a good healthcare” 

text: Eyituoyo Akperi

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