Nigeria’s Health Expenditure Among Lowest Globally – World Bank

The World Bank’s Human Capital Public Expenditure and Institutional Review has revealed that Nigeria’s health expenditure is among the lowest globally.
This finding comes amid rising health-related expenses that push over one million Nigerians into poverty each year.
The review states: “Nigeria ranks near the bottom in Africa in Universal Health Coverage. With a score of 44, Nigeria’s Universal Health Coverage (UHC) index has seen some improvement over time but still ranks among the lowest in the African region.”
The report highlights that the Nigerian government’s health expenditure stands at just 0.5% of GDP, ranking it among the lowest worldwide. Out-of-pocket payments dominate Nigeria’s healthcare financing, accounting for 77% of total health expenditures. This high reliance on out-of-pocket payments places a significant financial burden on households, pushing more than one million Nigerians into poverty annually.
The World Bank’s report also notes that most Nigerian government expenditures are focused on secondary and tertiary healthcare at the expense of primary and basic health services. It states: “The limited public funds allocated to health in Nigeria are predominantly directed towards secondary and tertiary care facilities, with a significant portion of the budget being spent on curative services within these higher-level hospitals.
This allocation strategy overlooks the crucial areas of prevention, public health, and primary healthcare, which are both cost-effective and have a high impact on overall health outcomes.”
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