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Nigerian Healthcare


Traditionally, health was taken
care of by 'medicine-men'. These
medicine-men were trained to
know the different herbs and
roots, how to prepare them,
which ailments they cured, how
to administer them, etc.
Of course, with the incoming of
modern medicine, Nigeria does
have many 'modern' hospitals
and clinics. Nowadays, doctors
and nurses are relied on more
for the curing and preventing of
diseases, rather than the
medicine men.
However, in Nigeria, as in other
parts of the world, people are
realizing that sometimes herbal
remedies can be just as
effective as modern medicine,
and they don't usually have the
long-term side effects that
other medications can have. And
they have been proven to work
in certain situations.
I guess the point of this section
is to point out that sometimes a
combination of herbal and
modern medicine is what is
needed, and both should be
evaluated for the treatment of


National Health
Policy in Nigeria

The goal of the National Health
Policy is to bring about a
comprehensive health care
system, based on primary health
care that is
restorative and
to every citizen of the country
within the available resources so
that individuals and communities
are assured of productivity,
social well- being and enjoyment
of living.
The health services, based on
primary health care, shall include
among other things:
education concerning prevailing
health problems and the
methods of preventing and
controlling them
promotion of food supply and
proper nutrition
material and child care, including
family planning
immunisation against the major
infectious diseases
prevention and control of locally
endemic and epidemic diseases
provision of essential drugs and
There is a three-tier system of
health care, namely: Primary
Health Care, Secondary Health
Care, and Tertiary Health Care.
Primary Health Care
The Provision of health care at
this level is largely the
responsibility of Local
Governments with the support
of sate ministries of health and
within the overall national health
policy. Private medical
practitioners also provide health
care at this level.
Secondary Health Care
This level of health care provides
specialized services to patients
referred from the primary
health care level through out-
patient and in-patient services
of hospitals for general medical,
surgical, pediatric patients and
community health services.
Secondary health care is
available at the district, divisional
and zonal levels of the states.
Adequate supportive services
such as laboratory, diagnostic,
blood bank, rehabilitation and
physiotherapy are also provided.
Tertiary Health Care
This level consists of highly
specialized services provided by
teaching hospitals and other
specialist hospitals which provide
care for specific diseases such
as orthopedic, eye, psychiatric,
maternity and pediatric cases.
Care is taken to ensure an even
distribution of these hospitals.
Also, appropriate support
services are incorporated into
the development of these
tertiary facilities to provide
effective referral services.
Similarly, selected centers are
encouraged to develop special
expertise in advantage modern
technology to serve as a
resource for evaluating and
adapting these new
developments in the context of
local needs and opportunities.
To further the overall national
health policy, governments of
the Federation work closely with
voluntary agencies, private
practitioners and other non-
governmental organizations to
ensure that the services
provided by these other
agencies are in line with those of


Here are a list of some health
organizations that deal with

Pro-Health International

WHO: Nigeria

Third World Foundation

Nigeria Family Health Services

Good Heart Foundation

ECWA Community Health Care

Pilot Program in Nigeria

African Journal of Reproductive

Malaria Foundation

Save-A-Child Surgery Project
(I have not found a web site, but
there is an article that I read
about them in April 1999.)

International Committee of the
Red Cross: Nigeria

International Women's Health
Coalition: Africa

Association of Nigerian
Physicians in the Americas

Global Alliance for Africa
Medical Care Development Inc.

United Nations Population Fund
PathFinder in Nigeria

SIECUS in Nigeria

Independent Group for Health in

USAID in Nigeria

Ife Project (from University of

African Networks for Health
Research and Development

Association of Nigerian
Physicians in America

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