Analysis of Nigeria's Health System

Topics: Health care, Health economics, Medicine Pages: 26 (9121 words) Published: June 24, 2013
A system can simply be defined as a group of interdependent items that interact regularly to perform a task. The essence of a system is the interaction of items in order to achieve a defined goal. A health system, also sometimes referred to as health care system or healthcare system is the organization of people, institutions, and resources to deliver health care services to meet the health needs of target populations. (Wikipedia). Thus, a health system is not merely a collection of discrete services each being delivered without specific relationship to the other elements of health care. It consists of all organizations, people and actions whose primary intent is to promote, restore or maintain health (WHO 2000). This includes efforts to influence determinants of health as well as more direct health-improving activities. A health system is therefore more than the pyramid of publicly owned facilities that deliver personal health services. It includes, for example, a mother caring for a sick child at home; private providers; behaviour change programmes; vector-control campaigns; health insurance organizations; occupational health and safety legislation. It includes inter-sectoral action by health staff, for example, encouraging the ministry of education to promote female education, a well known determinant of better health."(WHO, 2007). It is a fairly complex system of inter-related elements that contribute to the health of people - in their homes, educational institutions, in work places, the public (social or recreational) and the psychological environments as well as the directly health and health-related sectors. (Asuzu, 2004). The challenge in developing a health system is to organize the various elements for health promotion, specific disease prevention, diagnosis and treatment of ailments and rehabilitation. The required inputs include biomedical interventions as well as contributions from other disciplines and sectors. The goals for health systems, according to the World Health Organization, are good health, responsiveness to the expectations of the population, and fair financial contribution. Progress towards them depends on how systems carry out four vital functions: provision of health care services, resource generation, financing, and stewardship.[WHO, 2000]. There is a wide variety of health systems around the world, with as many histories and organizational structures as there are nations. In some countries, health system planning is distributed among market participants. In others, there is a concerted effort among governments, trade unions, charities, religious, or other co-ordinated bodies to deliver planned health care services targeted to the populations they serve. * COUNTRY PROFILE

Nigeria is a country situated on the West Africa coast. Nigeria shares land borders with the Republic of Benin in the west, Chad and Cameroon in the east, and Niger in the north. Its coast lies on the Gulf of Guinea in the south and it borders Lake Chad to the northeast. Its capital is Abuja. Nigeria covers an area of 923,768 sq km (356,669 sq mi) with a population of 170,123,740 (July 2012 estimate) million people and population growth rate of 2.553% (2012 estimate). It is regarded as the most populous nation in Africa. Nigeria runs a Federal system of government. She is a federal republic currently under a presidential administration, a National Assembly made up of 2 chambers—a Senate and a House of Representatives—and a judiciary. It has 36 semi-autonomous administrative divisions known as States and a federal capital territory grouped into six geopolitical zones. Each of the states is divided into local governments with 774 local governments spread across the 36 states and the federal capital territory. Thus, Nigeria runs 3 tiers of government i.e. National, state, and local government. Although there are more than 250 ethnic groups in Nigeria, there are...

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