SEATTLE — Supplying Nigerians with health centers, health supplies and easier access to care is certainly a great way to ensure that health in Nigeria is improving. Improved health is a proven way to reduce poverty in Nigeria, giving its citizens much more opportunity for a better life. Here are a few ways health in Nigeria is steadily showing improvement.
Nigeria State Health Investment Project and Health Care Centers
In 2016, The World Bank provided funds for the Nigeria State Health Investment Project to improve healthcare centers, deliver medical equipment and provide easier and cheaper access to healthcare. The Model Primary Health Care Center, which was funded by the Nigeria State Health Investment Project, is a clinic that provides pregnant women and their children access to healthcare while teaching their pregnant patients how to raise a happy, healthy baby.
One patient who receives care from the Model Primary Health Care Center, Fatima Yakubu, stated that recent improvements have made it easier for her to obtain prenatal care during her third pregnancy. Healthcare at the center, she said, is now free, whereas in previous years she had to pay for weekly visits. The cost of medicine is also significantly lower, allowing patients to save their money.
The International Coordinating Group and Vaccine Delivery
The International Coordinating Group organizes the distribution of vaccines in a timely manner during outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. The International Coordinating Group, along with the World Health Organization, delivered 1.4 million yellow fever vaccines in October 2017 to help fight the ongoing yellow fever epidemic in Nigeria. The outbreak began with just one confirmed case in September of the same year, but then surged to 30 confirmed cases.
The delivery of the vaccines was set to keep the already affected areas contained to prevent the spread of the disease to other communities. According to ScienceDirect, Nigeria has the highest population in Africa, but one of the world’s lowest vaccination rates. With the ongoing delivery of vaccines, health in Nigeria is sure to improve, preventing diseases from spreading and causing an outbreak.
Universal Health Insurance Coverage
The National Health Insurance Scheme Act was established in Nigeria in 2004, which led to the National Health Insurance Scheme organization, which aims to provide affordable health insurance to the people of Nigeria. The program provides many different programs for consumers to choose from, including programs for those in a vulnerable state who may not be able to work. This incorporates those with disabilities or young children.
These programs include the Physically Challenged Persons Social Health Insurance Program, which provides full coverage for citizens who face mental or physical challenges, preventing them from being able to work. The programs for people in a vulnerable state also include the Prison Inmates Social Health Insurance Program and the Children Under Five Social Health Insurance Program. Providing easier access to health insurance programs is a foolproof way to improve health in Nigeria.
Improving Health in Nigeria by Food Standards
It goes without saying that with better food comes better health. For many third world countries, though, finding quality food that has gone through proper measures to ensure it is safe to eat proves difficult. Eating improperly prepared foods or food that has not been checked can have serious consequences on health, like food-borne diseases such as typhoid or salmonella.
According to The Guardian Nigeria, many street kiosks in the country have poor hygiene practices, such as not ensuring their food is not contaminated, washing dishes improperly or an absence of health inspections by city officials. However, in June 2016, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations proposed the Food Safety and Quality Bill to establish grounds for higher food safety and standards, which aims to improve health in Nigeria. The National Food Safety Management Committee will be accountable for overseeing all food safety measures.
The country of Nigeria has come a long way in health improvement and is certainly showing a steady increase in health. With continued effort and practice, improving health in Nigeria will no longer be a dream for the vulnerable; it will instead become an everyday reality that comes with many benefits.
– Rebecca Lee