Need to Restructure, Transform the Nigerian Health System

Dr. Ifeanyi McWilliams Nsofor | January 26, 2024

In a piece for This Day, Dr. Ifeanyi McWilliams Nsofor, our 2018 New Voices Fellow, lays out five key ways to restructure and transform Nigeria’s health system so as to ensure equity in care for all Nigerians irrespective of social class.

Dr. Nsofor notes that this restructuring must begin with informed and active citizens as it only then “we can begin to rightly hold politicians accountable for upholding these promises”. He also highlights the essential role social determinants of health play in influencing health outcomes. These “non-medical factors and systems” such as economic policies, development agendas, social policies directly impact the availability and quality of care.

Furthermore, Dr. Nsofor calls for a restructuring of health financing in Nigeria. Noting that the current situation of high out-of-pocket expenditure is “unsustainable”, “inequitable” and  pushing Nigerians into poverty, he  emphasizes the need to shift towards widespread health insurance so as to achieve universal health coverage. “More Nigerians having health insurance moves the country gradually towards universal health coverage and ensures pandemic preparedness”, he ultimately states.

Highlighting the role and importance of public-private partnerships in transforming Nigeria’s health system, Dr. Nsofar recommends that governments can partner with private hospitals to restructure healthcare delivery. He also ultimately emphasizes the need to leverage the power of digital health technology to make the access to and delivery of healthcare more equitable.

As per Dr. Nsofor, a restructured health system is essential to build trust in Nigeria’s health system, save lives, ensure pandemic preparedness and make healthcare equitable.



To learn more about how Nigeria can transform its health system click below.