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Primary Health Care Offers Real Promise To Addressing Nigeria's Health Challenges

For a nation to be wealthy, it first has to be healthy. Even though we like to think wealth leads to good health, the reverse is truer. Healthy people are able to reach for their full potential, pursue their goals and achieve their dreams. This applies on the individual level as it does on the population level. Healthy people make a prosperous nation.

Likewise, for individuals to succeed, their health must be maintained at an optimal level so they are able to acquire quality education and deliver optimally at their jobs. When we think about it like this, it starts to make sense why Nigeria concurrently has abysmal healthcare statistics and remains the poverty capital of the world. A sick country will end up poor. Individuals or countries that are serious about becoming prosperous must commit to making investments that will lead to improvements in their healthcare.

People should ensure they have access to health services that provide them with treatment for their ailments, disease prevention alongside maintenance and promotion of good health.

Factors that affect health

The factors that determine our health status and the propensity for illness are called the determinants of health. These factors range from age, sex, lifestyle, occupation, social status, physical activity etc. Beyond the individual other factors like, access to health facilities and health policies of the countries in which we live also determine our health outcomes.

Some of these factors like age and sex are not modifiable, however, others like lifestyle, occupation, access to healthcare services and health policies can be modified.

In places where healthcare works, the health system is richly funded. In 2015, developed countries like the United Kingdom allocated 9.8% of their annual budget to healthcare. Closer home, Rwanda budgeted 10% of expenditure on health in 2017 and planned to implement a 17% budget in 2018. This sharply contrasts Nigeria?s under 4% budget for health which was not up to the average Sub-Saharan budget of 5.34%, heavily indebted poor countries average of 5.96%, fragile and conflict-afflicted countries budget of 5.35%, low-income countries of 6.07%.