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Nigeria is the 13th poorest country in the world with 70% living in poverty and 37.5% living in extreme poverty. This level of poverty affects everything from social cohesion and security to health. Malaria is a major cause of mortality and ill-health in Nigeria and has huge consequences for the productivity of the country. Many health systems in Nigeria have become increasingly pluralistic and poor people are faced with a confusing myriad of health providers and drug sellers. Old barriers between private and public, modern and traditional and formal and informal health providers are breaking down.

Systematic reviews of government health policies have shown the government’s determination to use research evidence to address the challenges of poverty. The government is targeting malaria as a way of reducing poverty. This is a key approach in addressing the first millennium development goal (MDG) ‘Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger’ and is highly relevant to a number of other MDG indicators such as the infant and maternal mortality rates.

FHS Phase 1

Given the Nigerian government's focus on malaria treatment and eradication, much of FHS Phase 1 work in Nigeria focused on that issue. In particular, they looked at the role of the informal sector, especially patent medicine vendors, in delivering malaria medications to patients in need.

FHS Phase 2

Nigeria is no longer a core country in which FHS is working in Phase 2. However, the team will continue to contribute to FHS's research as they examine the role of patent-medicine vendors in the anti-malarial market in Nigeria. This additional research is funded by the Center for Health Market Innovations.

Recent FHS Nigeria Publications


The overarching aim of this paper is to address the issue of building resilient health systems in the context of the Ebola outbreak in West Africa which has brought renewed attention to this challenge. The paper highlights insight gained from two decades work creating resilient health systems in Nigeria—in Northern Nigeria in particular. In highlighting how the “simple” basics of outbreak control tie into larger, complex adaptive systems, this paper summarises key learning from the Nigerian experience as a basis for suggesting both how such outbreaks can be averted in the future and how sustainable development goals around eliminating excess mortality and improving health equity can be realised in practice.

Policy-makers, entrepreneurs, academics and funders convened at the Rockefeller Foundation Bellagio Center from 10th-14th December 2012 to discuss the changing face of health markets, and in particular to consider future trends in such markets. Their aim was to promote a greater shared understanding and analysis of health market systems, and to consider how markets can better serve the needs of the poor in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). This report is an attempt to capture the rich discussions held during the meeting, which reviewed the evolution of health markets, identified key drivers of and gaps resulting from their rapid development, and highlighted critical issues that must be tackled to ensure the poorest have access to safe, affordable, effective and equitable health services. The report concludes with recommendations for shaping future health markets as agreed during the meeting.
In this commentary in Nature, the authors argue that the rapid expansion of health markets in Asia and Africa has made medicines, information and primary-care services available in all but the most remote areas. But it also creates problems with drug safety and efficiency, equity of treatment and the cost of care. Poorly trained practitioners often prescribe unnecessary pills or injections, with patients bearing the expense and the costs to their health. Counterfeit drugs are rife and drug resistance is growing. Bringing order to unruly health markets is a major challenge.
Dr Gerry Bloom from the Institute of Development studies presents to the M4P (Markets for the Poor) Conference in Brighton, UK, on 8 November 2011.
Dr Gerry Bloom from the Institute of Development studies presents to the M4P (Markets for the Poor) Conference in Brighton, UK, on 8 November 2011.
Oladimeji Oladepo from the University of Ibadan in Nigeria discusses findings from recent FHS research on the role of patent medicine vendors in the informal market for anti-malarials in Nigeria.