Osagie Ehanire 11

Despite Efforts, Nigeria’s Health Metrics Remain Among Worst Globally

In a statement made over the weekend, outgoing Health Minister Dr Osagie Ehanire has underscored that Nigeria continues to grapple with poor health indicators, despite significant investments made into the sector.

These issues are particularly pronounced in child and maternal health and road traffic accidents.

Ehanire expressed this concern during his keynote speech at the South-South Zone Traditional Leaders’ Committee (SSTLC) inaugural Primary Health Care Delivery event held in Benin City, Edo State.

This observation seems especially acute for Nigeria’s rural areas, where healthcare access is critically low, and there’s considerable unawareness about health issues, despite funding allocated to the sector.

The minister accentuated the vital role of primary healthcare centres, considering they serve as the initial interaction point between citizens and the healthcare system.

According to Ehanire, a substantial portion, approximately 60 to 70 per cent, of the health services sought by people can be provided at these centres.

Emphasising the strides made in recent years, the minister acknowledged the revitalisation of several primary healthcare centres and the Buhari administration’s policy to ensure healthcare for all.

Yet, the challenges remain, particularly in rural and inaccessible areas, where securing healthcare services is a hurdle.

He also stressed the importance of community engagement in health initiatives, acknowledging the crucial role of traditional leaders in driving success.


Healthcare in Nigeria: Progress Made, Yet More Ground to Cover

In the wake of Minister Ehanire’s revelations, it’s clear that Nigeria still struggles with some of the world’s poorest health outcomes despite pouring resources into its healthcare system.

The issues span child and maternal healthcare and road traffic accidents and extend more broadly to healthcare access in rural areas.

These realities underline the need for immediate and concerted action.

The situation is far from a failure of investment but instead signals the necessity for enhanced coordination, targeted policy measures, and vigorous community engagement.

It’s crucial to recognise the significant strides made in recent years, particularly the revitalisation of primary healthcare centres and the goal of ‘healthcare for all’ heralded by the Buhari administration.

Yet, as the minister noted, this progress isn’t universal, with rural and hard-to-reach areas still lagging.

It’s easy to see why these health issues persist in rural regions. Lack of access to healthcare services due to geographic remoteness or inadequate infrastructure exacerbates the problem.

Ignorance about health matters, fuelled by educational deficits, compounds the issues.

The minister’s emphasis on the role of traditional leaders is a call for more collaboration, fostering a united front against these persistent health challenges.

Engaging these figures in health initiatives could prove instrumental in providing healthcare services and enlightening communities about the importance of healthcare.

Investing in healthcare infrastructure, particularly in remote areas, is vital.

Efforts should be amplified to combat health illiteracy through educational campaigns, integrating health education within the standard curriculum, and leveraging traditional leaders to spread knowledge.

In this regard, government agencies, healthcare providers, and civil society must redouble their efforts, galvanising the nation towards improved health outcomes.

Did You Know?

  • Nigeria accounts for nearly 20% of global maternal deaths.
  • In Nigeria, 1 in 13 women dies during pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Road traffic accidents claim over 35,000 lives in Nigeria every year.
  • Nearly 50% of Nigeria’s population resides in rural areas, with limited access to healthcare services.
  • Nigeria’s healthcare expenditure represents approximately 4% of its GDP.

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  • Ubaso Nwaozuzu

    Ubaso Nwaozuzu is a content creator, digital marketer, and cigar enthusiast who loves DIY, people-watching, fishing, gardening, bodybuilding, cooking, and grilling. Ubaso has been an avid golfer for many years, and you can often find him on the golf course with his buddies. He also enjoys billiards and bowling in his free time and occasionally plays football or boxing to stay in shape. When he's not working or playing sports, he likes to relax by reading books about survival or wine tasting! Email: nwaozu[email protected]

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