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Health not high enough on Nigeria’s political agenda, says NCDC


 Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Nigeria Centre for Disease Control

Why Health Insurance Model Has Not Worked For Nigeria

The Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Dr Chikwe Ihekweazu, has said the health sector has not been able to achieve its full potential due to the “brain drain” of Nigerian health workers to other countries, corruption and poor leadership over many years.

He lamented that almost every family in Nigeria has been affected by inefficiency in the health sector in one way or another, and it is unfortunate that it happens so frequently that people have become desensitized to it.

The recently appointed head of the NCDC, in his advocacy for an accountable health sector, urged Nigerian citizens to play a part in improving the system adding that it is never just the government’s role.


The Infectious Disease Epidemiologist noted that the insurance model has never worked for Nigeria in any sector because citizens have very little confidence in putting money away and only having access to it when they need it. He added that the health sector’s biggest problem is of organisation of resources for effective results.

Ihekweazu believes that the solution is better organisation of resources to serve and protect people’s health. Ihekweazu reckons the focus should be on whether or not the allocated funds are used efficiently, as every year, the focus is on government’s annual budget allocation for the health sector while the Nigerian government still spends relatively less than other African country.

He also notes that corruption is a major factor in Nigeria and there is a need to increase accountability and transparency in the system.

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