Medicine and Technology – A Marriage of Convenience?

Modern-day healthcare delivery systems have been around in Nigeria since the first Europeans arrived on the country's shores.

The Portuguese journeyed with their own medicine as they explored the world and were not unwilling to administer it to locals as they engaged with them. When the British came, they made the administration of healthcare more organised in their colonial system. Indeed, before then, the peoples who will make up Nigeria had their traditional healthcare systems that were very effective in their communities, although not as organised as their European counterparts.

Today’s healthcare delivery system in Nigeria comprises a group of people, institutions, resources, and activities that deliver healthcare to its population. With the recent outbreak of COVID-19, the direct relationship between the health of a nation and its economy and overall wealth has become clear. Therefore, we can say that a crucial part of building a nation’s economy is building its healthcare system.

Healthcare delivery in Nigeria was designed to follow the pattern of the three tiers of government, with each tier focusing on specific aspects of national healthcare delivery. The Local Government is responsible for managing primary healthcare such as local dispensaries, regular immunizations, and environmental sanitation. These are the fundamentals of any healthcare delivery system. A comprehensive health centre is supposed to offer both primary healthcare and some secondary healthcare services. Every local government area should have at least one comprehensive healthcare centre.

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