Posted: March 23rd, 2023

Healthcare: Nigeria vs the United States


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Nigeria is a country in West Africa, a federal republic with 36 states. The capital city, Abuja, is situated in the Federal Capital Territory. Apart from Abuja, the country has one of the largest metropolitan regions globally, Lagos. Nigeria is the most populous nation in Africa, with around 211 million people. The country is one of the most multiculturally and ethnically diverse countries in the world. Besides, it is the region’s leading economy by nominal GDP, ahead of South Africa and Egypt (Ejem & Ogbonna, 2020). Apart from Lovett-Scott and Prather (2018), the three other sources of information from the final essay are Financial Conditions Index and Economic Performance in Nigeria by Ejem and Ogbonna (2020); Healthcare systems in Nigeria and the U.S.A. by Okolo (2013); and Essentials of health policy and law by Teitelbaum and Wilensky (2013). While the United States healthcare system is assumed to be the best in terms of quality, the reality is that some systems in developing countries, such as Nigeria, rate better regarding cost.

Cost, Quality, and Access to Care

The cost of healthcare in Nigeria is lower than in the United States. Notably, the services are subsidized by the government and private healthcare providers (Teitelbaum & Wilensky, 2013). While the U.S. healthcare system is the most expensive, the cost continues to increase. Regardless of the lower health cost in Nigeria than in the U.S., the quality is better in the U.S. The nation has more qualified healthcare providers than Nigeria, explaining the better outcomes regarding quality. Also, access to care in Nigeria is lower than in the U.S. Unlike in the U.S., many Nigerians lack access to private healthcare, and most patients pay out of pocket, limiting access.

Politics, Culture, Wealth, History, and Environmental Factors

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Health is an essential aspect of development in Nigeria. The government’s role and economic performance in Nigeria have improved access to care over the years. However, cultural beliefs and practices that affect access to health are more common in Nigeria than in the United States, such as beliefs in spiritual healing and traditional medicine (Okolo, 2013). As indicated, cultural practices hinder effective care for patients in Nigeria.

The Impact on Vulnerable Population

The impact of health care on vulnerable populations (elderly, children, and mentally ill) is better in the U.S., which has improved programs targeting the population, such as Medicaid and Medicare. In Nigeria, the sector has recorded positive trends in care provision for women and maternal-child health, a crucial focus of the Nigerian government, which funds the system. However, the country spends less on this sector of health than the United States. The government supports women and children by subsidizing their health care (Okolo, 2013). Thus, healthcare for vulnerable populations has improved over the years.

Disease Management

Disease management is better in the United States than in Nigeria. Lovett-Scott and Prather (2018) suggest the role of technology and innovation in improving disease management. Thus, the the U.S. is better equipped technologically and has the resources to manage communicable and non-communicable diseases.

The Theory and Practice of Health Promotion

The theory and practice of health promotion are picking grounds in Nigeria, but the system is better in the U.S. The Nigerian government implements measures to educate and create awareness about issues, such as proper nutrition and exercise, but acceptance is lower than in the U.S. The same case applies to behavioral and lifestyle factors that affect health and illness, which have a more significant health burden in Nigeria than in the U.S. Regardless of the differences in health promotion, lifestyle diseases, such as obesity, are more common in the U.S.



Ejem, C. A., & Ogbonna, U. G. (2020). Financial conditions index and economic performance in Nigeria. American Finance & Banking Review5(1), 62-70.

Lovett-Scott, M., & Prather, F. (2018). Global health systems: Comparing strategies for delivering health services. Retrieved from

Okolo, C. (2013). Healthcare systems in Nigeria and the U.S.A Retrieved from…/chiagozikam-okolo-comparecontrast-essay-hea

Teitelbaum, J. B., & Wilensky, S. E. (2013). Essentials of health policy and law (2nd ed.). Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


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