Nigeria, with a population of 140 million people accounting for
47% of the population of West Africa, has a moral responsibility to lead the
continent towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Yet its
health system is ranked 187th of 191 WHO member states. Lending credence to
this ranking are health indices such as an infant mortality rate of 101 per
1000; maternal mortality rates ranging from 500 per 100,000 in the South West
to 800 per 100,000 in the North East, perinatal mortality rate of 48 per 1000
and child mortality rate of 205 per 1000.
There is thus an urgent need to foster effective
collaboration and partnership with all relevant stakeholders to improve the health systems in Nigeria.
This paper explores challenges and possible solutions relating
to health systems strengthening in Nigeria including health policies,
governance, organization and financing of health services, health workforce
production and health service delivery.
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