PRIMARY HEALTH CARE IN NIGERIA: AN APPRAISAL OF THE EFFECT OF FOREIGN DONATIONS
Primary Health Care (PHC) provides the most viable route towards achieving health related sustainable development goals (SDGs) and is crucial to the achievement of other SDGs. Given the importance of primary health care, nations across the world devote considerable effort and resources towards establishing and maintaining effective PHC systems. In Nigeria, domestic spending on the health sector has been declining while foreign donations towards improving primary health care have been on the increase. However, recent global trends and the imminent expiry of deadlines for a number of foreign donations point toward a not too distant future without foreign donations for health care system improvements. This constitutes a development challenge. Even though foreign donations have yielded some positive health outcomes, the effect of foreign donations on the primary health care system is unclear. The study set out to examine the amount and effect of foreign donations on the primary health care system in Nigeria. The paper combined qualitative methodology and analysis of literature to investigate the present state of primary healthcare, identify the setbacks to full development of primary healthcare in Nigeria and examined the effects of foreign donations on the primary health care system in Nigeria. The paper found that foreign donations have been increasing but have also led to the perpetuation of a non-committal attitude towards increasing domestic spending on health and the neglect of health system strengthening. Therefore, the paper recommends timely and steady increase in domestic funding for health along with the strengthening of the health system towards creating an effective primary health care system with or without foreign donations.
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