Policy Reforms in Nigerian Health Sector and the Potential for Poverty Reduction
This paper studies the policy reforms in the Nigerian health sector and potentiality of the sector towards poverty reduction in the country. The study investigates the contribution of health in the process of poverty reduction by various governments in Nigeria. The study employs secondary source as a methods of data collection. The study reveals that health sector reform involves more than just improvement in health or health care. It is a process motivated by the need to address fundamental deficiencies in health care systems that affect all health care services. Health sector reform in Nigeria is based on the poor health status of the population and the poor rating of the health system itself. The study reveals that Nigerian health status was ranked 187 out of 191 countries by WHO in 2000. The infant mortality rate, the under-five mortality rate and the maternal mortality ratio are some of the indicators that are often used to compare health status of populations. Nigeria’s figures on each of the three indicators are some of the worst in the world, even by the standard of developing countries. The health sector reform was one of the social sector reforms undertaken by the Obasanjo administration, with the National Economic Empowerment Development Strategy (NEEDS) providing the overall national development framework. The NEEDS, itself, has four major goals: wealth creation, poverty reduction, employment generation and value re-orientation. Consequently, the study look at the contribution of the health sector reform towards reduction of poverty in Nigeria.
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