Rescuing Nigerian Healthcare

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Obum Ezekwem

Rescuing Nigerian Healthcare

“The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.”- Benjamin Disraeli

The success of a country economically and socially mainly depends on the country’s healthcare system. A country cannot have a thriving economy without an efficient healthcare system. Nigeria is a nation that lacks an efficient healthcare system. The population of Nigeria is about 162,470,737. With a birthrate of 39.2 births per thousand, Nigeria has a mortality rate of 94.3 deaths per thousand live births and a life expectancy rate of 52 years (“Demographics of Nigeria”). These statistics are sad and unquestionably of great concern. The poor healthcare system in Nigeria results in economic as well as social consequences. Access to quality healthcare in Nigeria is either completely absent or limited with an overwhelming financial burden on families. With the presence of the AIDS epidemic and unhealthy lifestyles of Nigerians, the prevalence of fake and inferior drugs only makes the situation worse (Orabuchi).

Nigerians die of minor illnesses that could have been taken care of with simple treatments and healthy lifestyles. The healthcare problem in Nigeria has also become worse due to the fact that the federal government has no constructive and comprehensive healthcare policy put in place; the federal government has no meaningful cooperation with the state governments. For example in 2003, government leaders in Kano state placed a statewide ban on the use of polio vaccines because they believed that it caused their women to be sterile and facilitated the spreading of the HIV virus (Orabuchi). As a result of this ban, in 2004 79% of the global polio incidents were found in Nigeria (Orabuchi).

As with most problems, there is always a solution. The solution to Nigeria’s healthcare crisis begins with the people. Nigerians have to say no to fake drugs and...
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