Healthcare Nigeria: A Brief Critique
Many healthcare systems in Nigeria are severely under-developed and most of the medical facilities are poorly maintained, thus leading to inadequate medical dealings. The health care facilities are better developed in cities and major towns but less developed in rural areas. The government of Nigeria has tried to enact several health reforms to address the issues facing the health care system, but some are yet to be implemented at both the state and local government levels.
In a report from the Communiqué of the Nigerian National Health conference presented in 2009, the health system remains to be weak as a result of fragmentation of services, lack of coordination, dearth of resources, drugs and supplies included, inequity in resource distribution, access to care, inadequate & declining infrastructure, and very miserable quality care among other factors. Nigeria has a number of well trained medical doctors with nurses lacking proper training. In addition, medical facilities are less and are badly maintained, while diagnostic and medical treatment devices are most of the time out-dated. Another challenge that the healthcare in Nigeria faces is that a huge percentage of Nigerian citizens still live below US$1 dollar a day, hence many can’t afford healthcare on their own unless supported by the government or a health care scheme.
In the past, communicable diseases were a great threat to many people’s lives and to national security, but today, it’s possible to track the outbreak of diseases, set up treatment and come up with preventive measures before they spread to larger areas. Lack of penetration by medical and healthcare service providers in the rural areas made some of the Nigerian citizens in those areas to stick to the traditional medicines and healing practices which may not be as efficient as modern health care.
The Nigerian government is trying all possible ways to tackle the problems of healthcare cover after many years of sporadic infectious disease outbreak and chemical poisoning. The government is trying to widen medical coverage all over the country by pushing all the state and local governments to embrace the National Health insurance scheme. Other steps include educating Nigerians to take preventive measures from falling sick. Also, it planned to offer enough funding and uplift the governance that encircles the health care system in the country. With the recruitment of healthcare experts and good access to clean water, this will lower the risk of waterborne diseases and bacterial infections in the country. If the government really works on and adopts these steps, the healthcare system in Nigeria will develop rapidly and the vision of everyone having a National health insurance scheme will be realized quickly.