Health Care in Nigeria

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Comparison of Health Care in U.S. and Nigeria

Carlyn Ryland

Dr. James Johnson
HSC 507 Health Systems

May 15, 2010

I. Introduction: Description and location of Nigeria

Nigeria is located in the horn of Africa, bordered by the countries of Niger in the north, Chad in the northwest, Cameroon in the east, and Benin in the west. The Gulf of Guinea completes the southern border of Nigeria, which is part of the Atlantic Ocean that gives the country 853 km of coastline. Nigeria composes a land mass area of 356,667 square miles with 1.4% of that water. The current population is around 144 million with a fertility rate of about 5.4%. Nigeria is the most populous country on the African continent and the eight most populous country in the world and has a population growth rate of 2.382%. The capital of Nigeria is Abuja, a planned city by the government and built mainly in the 1980’s it is listed as The Federal Capital Territory. Abuja has an estimated population of about 780,000 and houses the centralize government for the country. Lagos, the previous capital of the country is the most populous city within the county with an estimated population of 15 million. The median age in Nigeria is young at 18.8 years for males and 18.6 for females. Over 250 different ethnic groups live within the country. Hausa, Fulani, and Yoruba compose over 40% of the population and are of the most political influential of all ethnic groups. English is the dominant language of the land, while Hausa, Fulani, and Yoruba are the dominant indigenous dialects spoken.

Historical data dates indigenous populations of Nigeria back to 9000B.C. An original colony of Britain, Nigeria only gained its independence on October 1, 1960. Since independence, Nigeria has undergone extensive political strife throughout the years. It was formed as a democratic government, but various infighting among indigenous tribes and unstable government; military coup de tats plagued the country for most of its inception. From 1966 up until 1999, Nigeria was under Military rule and suffered a stifling civil war in the late 70’s and 80’s. It was not until 1999 that democracy was restored to the country and elections held to nominate a President. Political strife and corrupt elections have been marred and held as unfounded. Umaru Yar’Adua the second elected President in 2007 died while in office on May 5, 2010 and did not sign over his powers during his illness. Before his death the National Assembly gave power to the then Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan which sparked further political unrest because the President was still alive at the time and according to Nigerian law, was suppose to sign over his Presidency.

Despite the enormous pitfalls that Nigeria faces, it is has the potential to be one of the emerging powers out of Africa. It is a country rich in oil deposits, ranking 12th in the world as a major producer and 8th as largest exporter. In 2007, 97% of the Nigeria export income came from petroleum. Nigeria is still a very young country and has many deficits to overcome, its GDP has increased annually and with the enormous amounts of revenue generated through oil production it can help with the serious health indices that they have,

II. Major Causes of Death and Disease

The WHO reported the last historical data report on Nigeria health indices in 2006 based upon data conducted in 2002. The information shows that HIV/AIDS is the most prevalent killer among its people. Other diseases include respiratory conditions, malaria, and tuberculosis, and perinatal conditions as top leading causes of death. Nigeria ranks low on every aspect rating dealing with health care, and its ratio comparison to other countries are much the same. WHO recommends $34 per person usage toward health concerns, Nigeria spends around $5. The following table is from the WHO statistical report of 2006 and gives numerical meaning to the grave situation of...
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