Reviving Healthcare Delivery: Context-Based Issues for Revamping Primary Healthcare in Nigeria

Owumi, B.E., Taiwo, P.A., Kolo, V.I.


The relationship between health and sustainable development have long been established. Hence the need to rigorously pursue strategies to improve the health status of a nation’s citizenry through functionally effective and efficient delivery systems. However, health and healthcare delivery is a major problem confronting developing nations like Nigeria. In August 1987, Primary healthcare (PHC) was adopted as the cornerstone of health care and health policy in Nigeria. About three decades after, studies have shown that health and healthcare in Nigeria have not significantly improved; and the delivery of health services have become a perennial problem, defying the various solutions that had been advanced to solving it over time. In the face of dwindling economic reality in Nigeria, reviving primary healthcare becomes a viable alternative that will not only produce healthy and productive citizens, thereby generating national wealth; but will also reduce the cost of health care delivery to the average Nigerian. This paper presents a theoretical diagnosis of the state of affairs of healthcare delivery in Nigeria focusing on PHC as the hub of health policy. It examines the problems of PHC, identifying gaps within it that militates against successful implementation and outcomes. The paper concluded that certain deficits in the scope and policy process of PHC in Nigeria accounted for the programme’s incapacitation. It however recommended a thorough situation analysis as a prelude to a bottom-up policy approach, inclusion of the informal health sub-sector especially the traditional health care practitioners as a viable as well as cost effective strategy for the revamping of primary health care in Nigeria.

Keywords: Health, primary, context-based healthcare, policy, revamping

DOI: 10.7176/JHMN/58-10

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