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Rediscover Nigeria Health

Health

Like in other social sectors, health facilities in Nigeria have faced serious challenges over the years. From great centres of excellence, medical institutions have experienced severe shortages of everything from trained and qualified personnel to dearth of equipment, drugs and dressings. One of the areas where government has recorded a huge success recently is the clamp down on persons bringing in fake drugs with the active connivance of many drug manufacturers outside Nigeria. This has been achieved through the activities of the regulatory body- The National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC).

STATE OF PUBLIC HEALTH (1999 - 2004)

 

Description

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

No. of Hospitals

23,585

23,596

23,601

23,607

23,618

23,622

No. of Health Centre and Dispensaries

20,200

20,273

20,570

20,580

20,610

20,653

No. of Hospital Beds

71,480

71,480

71,930

72,600

73,230

73,680

Source: Federal Office of Statistics

 

The increase in the number of hospitals and health centres including hospital beds was very negligible between 1999 and 2003.

Much could not have been achieved because public expenditure on health as percentage of G.D.P was 0.9% in the year 2000, 1% in 2001 and in the year 2002, 1.1%.

Investment in the training of medical personnel which will improve health care delivery did not fare better.

 

1999

2000

2001

2002

2003

2004

No. of Physicians

31,359

33,106

35,215

38,355

40,159

41,935

No. of Nurses and Midwifes

123,390

125,240

109,790

128,559

136,751

158,920

Patients treated in Medical Institutions

6,091,264

4,986,878

6,635,180

6,713,181

N/A

N/A

Source: National Bureau of Statistics.

 

Nigerian Statistical Fact Sheets on Economic and Social Development, 2004 Provisional figures

The various reports available show equally that life expectancy between 1999 – 2002 was between 51.5 - 51.6 years.

OTHER ISSUES

Many of the killer diseases in Nigeria are ordinarily preventable. The general picture is one that requires a redoubling of effort to rescue the sector.

 

1999

2000

2001

2002

Life Expectancy at Birth

51.5 yrs

51.7 yrs

51.8yrs

51.6 yrs

Population without sustainable access to Improved Water Source

43%

43%

38%

38%

Physician per 100,000 people

18

18

19

-

Infant Mortality (per live 1000 birth)

112

110

110

110

Population with access to Improved Sanitation

63%

63%

54%

54%

Under five Mortality (per 1000 live birth)

187

184

183

183

Source: Human Development Report: 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004.
Courtesy: United Nations Information Centre, Lagos

PROGRESS AREAS

In spite of these challenges, recent efforts by Federal and State Governments to rescue the health sector and return it to excellence must be acknowledged. The impact of the efforts so far gives a ray of hope for a return to better health care in the country.

ROLL BACK MALARIA PROGRAMME

With considerable international support, the Roll Back Malaria Programme with a three-prong approach is succeeding through the following interventions:

Insecticide Treated Nets (ITN).

Treatment for Pregnant Women.

Pre-packaged Drugs.

The support of donor agencies has helped to bring the cost of insecticide treated nets to affordable levels. This has reduced morbidity rate in vulnerable groups like pregnant women and children below the age of five from 593 per 100,000 people to 30 per 100,000 between 1999 and 2001.

HIV / AIDS

More than 4.5million Nigerians are currently infected with HIV/AIDS and more than 1.5million have already lost their lives to the scourge. The intervention of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, United States Agency for International Development, British DFID, MTN and Federal Government of Nigeria through provision of cheap Anti Retroviral Drugs have helped to bring down the percentage of infected people and in the management of the disease.

The prevalence rate of 5.8% in 1999 has marginally dropped to about 4.4% in 2005. A lot of interventions have been done and in this regard, Non-Governmental Organisations (N.G.O's) and other advocacy groups are in the vanguard of public enlightenment. The Federal Government is equally expanding its collaborative programmes with other donor agencies and has expanded its Anti-retroviral access centres to cover many parts of Nigeria making the drugs more readily available at more affordable rates.

The Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) provide up-to-date information on the population of Health situation in Nigeria. The 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) is the fourth to be carried out in the country.This Survey was implemented by the National population Commission, ICF Macro, an ICF International company, provided technical support in the design, implementation and Analysis of the Survey through the USAID, the Presidents Emergency Fund for AIDS, with additional funding from United Nations Fund for Population Activities (UNFPA).

The Survey provides up-to-date information on fertility, family planning, childhood mortality, nutrition, maternal and child health, domestic violence, and HIV/AIDS-related knowledge and behaviour. Child Mortality… Is decreasing in Nigeria. Infant Mortality has dropped 25%, from 99 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2003. Child Mortality also decreased a notch from 97 per 1000 live birth in 2003 to 88 in 2008.

Maternal Health:  58% of women received some antenatal are (ANC) from a skilled provider – 30% from nurse or midwife, or 23% from a doctor. Only about one-third of births in Nigeria (35%) take place in health facilities – 20% in the public sector and 15% in private sector facilities. Sixty-two (62%) of births occur at home, mostly in rural areas. 39% of births were delivered by a skilled provider (doctor, nurse/midwife, and auxiliary nurse/midwife). 22% are assisted by a traditional birth attendant; 1 in 5 births were assisted by no one. Maternal Mortality Ratio in Nigeria is estimated to be 545 deaths per 100,000 live births.

Vaccination Coverage According to the 2008 Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS), 23% of Nigerian children 12-33 month received all recommended vaccines – one dose of BCG and measles and three doses each of DPT and Polio. This is a significant increase from 13% of 2003.

MALARIA

In 2003, only 2% households had insecticide-treated nets (IT N).

By 2008, 17% of households have a mosquito net, and 8% have an insecticide-treated net (ITN). Use of ITN by pregnant women is low across the country. Malaria during pregnancy contributes to low birth weight and to infant mortality.

TERTIARY HEALTH INSTITUTIONS

The Federal Government of Nigeria awarded contracts for the installation of hi-tech modern equipment in teaching hospitals in Zaria, Jos, Maiduguri, Ibadan, Lagos, Calabar, Ilorin, Enugu and Kano. This is a first step towards a nationwide revamping of these tertiary institutions as centres of excellence in health care delivery. Three of these centres of medical excellence at the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital, Ahmadu Bello University Teaching Hospital, Shika (Zaria) and the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu were commissioned recently. The effort has considerably reduced the near hopelessness of patients with critical ailments. The success rate of the execution of the programme was satisfactory. With its completion, the proper training of personnel to handle and manage the equipment is considerably saving the country enormous foreign exchange and help in the improvement of access to modern health care delivery. Other phases have also been commissioned.

NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE (NHIS)

The re-launching of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) to boost the rate of equal access to health care with little and affordable regular contributions by Nigerians is a good development. This will improve the standard of health care delivery and reduce the patronage of quack medical practitioners to whom many have resorted because of unaffordable charges in orthodox medical clinics and hospitals. All core medical professionals have welcomed the develop-ment and its proper implementation will usher in an era of improvement in Nigeria's human development rating.

FAKE AND SUB-STANDARD DRUGS

One of the biggest positive developments in Nigeria's health sector is the commendable achievements of the National Agency for Foods, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC). Through public advocacy, personal persuasion and enforcement, the agency has succeeded in curbing the incidences of fake and substandard drugs by more than 70% over a period of time. Reports from studies conducted by NAFDAC reveal that indices of fake or sub standard drugs dropped from 68% in 2002 to 35% in 2003 and 19% in 2004. The studies for 2005 reveal a marginal drop to 16.5%. Drugs from Nigeria that were previously rejected in the sub-region are now being accepted and the drug manufacturing companies based in Nigeria are returning to profitability.

Public awareness which is one of the great strategies for curbing the fake drug menace has also considerably improved. Accreditation of drug manufacturers and compulsory registration of importers has seriously helped to curb the menace.

VACCINES AND ARV DRUGS

The recent agreement signed between the Federal Government and a leading drug manufacturer in Nigeria will soon return the country to the path of local production of vaccines and help in reducing the chain in the importation and distribution of vaccines. Similarly, drug manufacturing companies have started the production of anti-retroviral drugs for patients infected with HIV/AIDS in Nigeria so as to enhance easier access to them.

OPPORTUNITIES

The health sector still throws up big opportunities in Nigeria. Some of the inadequacies bother on unavailability of local sources for drugs, dressings and equipment and an insurance scheme to enable easy settlement of medical bills.

With the introduction of National Health Insurance Scheme NHIS, health care is expected to cover a large segment of Nigerians. Opportunities still exist in the following areas:-

  • Manufacture of consumables especially needles, syringes.
  • Specialized Hospitals for regular management of terminal diseases.
  • Donor agency support to manage or eradicate communicable diseases especially Leprosy, Tuberculosis and River Blindness.
  • Donor support for management of terminal ailments which are on the increase.
  • Donor support for medical equipment, personnel and training.
  • Production of advocacy programmes and public enlightenment campaigns.
  • Donor support for setting up mobile hospitals on land and in the riverine areas of Nigeria.

 

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Last Updated (Friday, 23 December 2011 22:23)

 
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