Top ten major health challenges in Nigeria | Must Read
The health of Nigerians is very important to us and we are committed to ensuring that you live a healthy life. This is why we want to take this opportunity to inform you of some of the major health challenges in Nigeria.
The most common diseases in Nigeria include malaria, pneumonia, diarrhea, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis (TB), cancer, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cardiovascular disease, stroke, chronic kidney disease, anemia, mental illness, injury, road traffic accidents, maternal mortality, malnutrition, obesity, and other non-communicable diseases such as asthma, epilepsy, arthritis, osteoporosis, back pain, neck pain, headache, migraine, eye problems, skin conditions, etc.
We would be looking into the top 10 of those health challenges in this article.
- 1 Top 10 health challenges in Nigeria
- 2 Major causes of health challenges in Nigeria
Top 10 health challenges in Nigeria
Malaria is one of the most common diseases in Nigeria, especially during rainy seasons. It causes more than 70% of all childhood deaths under the age of 5 years old. An estimated 2 million cases of malaria occur in Nigeria each year, with a case fatality rate of about 25%.
It is caused by a parasite called plasmodium which lives in mosquitoes and other insects such as flies and lice. The parasite enters your body through the bite of an infected mosquito or insect, which sucks blood from your body.
Once inside your body, the parasite multiplies quickly and can cause serious health complications if not treated properly within 24 hours of getting bitten by an infected mosquito or insect.
Cardiovascular diseases account for 25% of deaths annually in Nigeria. A total of 27,000 people die from stroke every year while heart diseases kill another 50,000 Nigerians annually.
Tuberculosis (TB) is a common disease in Nigeria. The World Health Organization estimates that there are 1.4 million TB cases in Nigeria, with an annual incidence rate of 170 cases per 100,000 people.
Diabetes has become a major cause of death in Nigeria due to its complications such as kidney failure and amputation. This condition kills about 8,000 Nigerians yearly.
Cholera is another waterborne disease that is common in Nigeria. It occurs when contaminated water or food containing bacteria called Vibrio cholera enters the digestive tract and causes severe diarrhea and vomiting.
The disease can progress rapidly, leading to dehydration and death if not treated quickly with oral rehydration solution (ORS) or intravenous fluids. In 2015, there were more than 10,000 cholera cases reported in Nigeria. However, due to underreporting, this number underestimates the true extent of the epidemic.
Malnutrition is one of the major health challenges in Nigeria. It has been estimated that about 48% of children under five years of age are under-nourished. Also, about one-third of the total population suffers from chronic malnutrition (UNICEF, 2013).
According to the World Bank, about half of children under five years suffer from stunting (low height for age), which usually results from poor nutrition and sanitation. A child suffering from stunting is likely to have a lower IQ and less ability to learn than an average child.
Nigeria has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world with an estimated 1,000 new infections every day according to UNAIDS 2016 report, making it home to more than 2 million people living with HIV and AIDS.
This number is expected to rise significantly as young people come into sexually active age (UNAIDS 2016 Report). The epidemic has also led to deaths among both men and women in the prime of their lives while leaving many others orphaned by their parents’ deaths caused by AIDS.
diarrhea is another common illness in Nigeria because of poor sanitation and hygiene practices. It can lead to dehydration and even death if not treated immediately.
Hypertension (High Blood Pressure)
hypertension is one of the main causes of heart attacks and strokes in Nigeria today. It is a leading cause of death worldwide with about 30% of cases being directly linked to high blood pressure according to WHO statistics from 2015.
Cancer accounts for 7% of deaths annually in Nigeria. About 10,000 Nigerians die from this disease every year with prostate cancer being the most common type among men while breast cancer is more common among women than other forms of cancer combined.
Major causes of health challenges in Nigeria
Smoking is the most important cause of diseases in Nigeria. It causes cancer, heart disease, and other chronic illnesses.
Alcohol consumption is also a major cause of diseases in Nigeria. It is a depressant drug that can cause damage to the body if abused. It’s responsible for liver cirrhosis, brain damage, high blood pressure, cancer, etc.
Poor diet is another major cause of diseases in Nigeria. Eating unwholesome foods such as junk food and processed food makes you prone to developing health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular diseases among others.
Stressful lifestyle/Stressful environment
A stressful lifestyle/stressful environment is another major cause of disease in Nigeria. When you have too much work to do or if you are facing financial problems, it can be very stressful for you physically and mentally.
This can lead to anxiety or depression which will make your immune system weak and make it easier for diseases like colds and flu to spread through your body quickly
The lead cause of diseases in Nigeria is a lack of knowledge. People don’t know the consequences of their actions, such as smoking and drinking. They also don’t realize that some drugs contain harmful substances that can cause cancer.
Lack of exercise
Very few people in Nigeria understand the value of exercise to the body. Lack of physical activity weakens muscles in the body which leads to muscle aches and pains when you do start exercising again. Since there is so much pain when they decided to start exercising they quit.