Timeline of healthcare in Nigeria

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This is a timeline of healthcare in Nigeria, focusing on modern healthcare system. Major events such as policies and organizations are included.

Big picture[edit]

Year/period Key developments
<1472 Traditional medicine is the system of healthcare delivery in Nigeria. Traditional healing and medical practices include herbalists, divine healers, soothsayers, midwives, spiritualists, bone-setters, mental health therapists and surgeons. Still today, these practices remain a viable part of the healthcare system in the country.[1]
1472–1880 Western-style healthcare is introduced in Nigeria by doctors brought by explorers and traders to cater for their own well being.[1][2]
1880–1945 Infrastructural base takes shape through the foundation of hospitals erected mainly by Christian missionaries.[1]
1945–Present Development of nationwide healthcare service in Nigeria through national development plans starting from the First Colonial Development plan in 1945 until the Five year Strategic Plan from 2004–2008. Nigeria is still a developing country with serious issues pertaining to healthcare. Poverty and large-scale corruption are big obstacles to improvement in the health and well being of the Nigerian population.[1]

Full timeline[edit]

Year/period Type of event Event Location
1472 Background Portuguese navigators reach Nigerian coast. They bring European medicine, first to satisfy their own need.[1][2]
1861 Background Britain establishes the Colony and Protectorate of Nigeria.[2]
1880 Organization The first healthcare facility in Nigeria is a dispensary opened by the Church Missionary Society.[1] Obosi
1885 Organization The Sacred Heart Hospital is the first hospital established in Nigeria. It is built by the Roman Catholic Mission.[1] Abeokuta
1886 Organization Healthcare dispensaries are opened in Onitsha and Ibadan.[1] Anambra State, Oyo State
1893 Organization Lagos Island General Hospital is founded.[3] Lagos
1945–1955 Policy The First Colonial Development plan for healthcare in Nigeria is launched. The health system is regionalized. Most public hospitals provide cost free care for civil servants and their dependents while parallel church-owned hospitals provide care for the most needy in this period.[1][4]
1945 Organization National Orthopaedic Hospital is founded.[5] Lagos
1951 Organization The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is established.[6] Abuja
1952 Organization ECWA Hospital Egbe is founded.[7] Egbe, Kogi State
1952 Organization Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital is founded.[8] Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State
1952–1954 Policy The control of medical services is transferred to the Regional governments.[1]
1952 Organization University College Hospital, Ibadan is the first medical school established in Nigeria.[9] Ibadan, Oyo State
1954 Policy The overall national policy for Nationwide Health Care Services is stated in the Eastern Nigeria government report on "Policy for Medical and Health Services". The report states that the aim is to provide national health services for all, emphasizing the need for expansion of healthcare to rural areas.[1]
1956–1962 Policy The Second Colonial Development plan for healthcare in Nigeria is launched.[1]
1959 Organization ECWA Evangel Hospital is founded.[10] Jos, Plateau State
1960 Background Independence of Nigeria.[2]
1962–1968 Policy The First National Development Plan for healthcare is launched in Nigeria by the government.[1]
1965 Organization The United Nigeria Insurance Company (UNIC) is incorporated as a health maintenance organization (HMO). It provides medical insurance scheme and international medical insurance cover.[11] Lagos State
1968 Organization St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos is founded.[12] Lagos
1970–1975 Policy The Second National Development Plan for healthcare is launched in Nigeria by the government.[1]
1972 Crisis First appearance of epidemic cholera in Nigeria. From then on, intermittent outbreaks will occur throughout the years.[13]
1975–1980 Policy The Third National Development Plan for healthcare is launched in Nigeria by the government.[1]
1981 Organization Imo State University Teaching Hospital is founded.[14] Owerri, Imo State
1981–1985 Policy The Fourth National Development Plan for healthcare is launched in Nigeria by the government.[1]
1982 Organization Eko Hospital is founded.[15] Lagos
1984 Organization Hygeia international ltd is established as a Health Insurance Company.[16] Lagos
1986 Organization Lagoon Hospitals is founded as a healthcare company.[17] Lagos
1987 Policy The federal government launches its primary health care plan with the following major objectives: Improving collection and monitoring of health data, improving personnel development in the health care, ensuring the provision of essential drug availability, improving on immunization programs, promoting treatment of epidemic diseases, improving food supply and nutrition, improving material, child care, and family planning; and educating people on prevailing health problems and the methods of preventing and controlling them.[18]
1988 Report Casual survey in Benin City shows that for every sign-post that indicates a Western-style clinic or office, there are 3 that indicates a traditional doctor.[1] Benin City, Edo State
1990 Organization Zenith medicare limited is incorporated as a health maintenance organization. It offers health insurance services to individuals, small groups of employers and to large corporate organizations in Nigeria.[11] Abuja
1993 Organization Federal Medical Center, Abeokuta is founded.[19] Abeokuta
1997 Organization Ahmadiyya Hospital Newbussa is founded.[20] New Bussa, Niger State
1997 Organization Premium health limited is incorporated as a health maintenance organization. It offers insurance covers to individuals, groups and corporate entities.[11] Ibadan, Oyo State
1997 Organization Healthcare International is established as a healthcare provider.[21] Lagos
1997 Organization Prepaid Medical services limited is incorporated as a health maintenance organization. It provides services for individuals, families, groups and corporate organizations.[11] Abuja
1998 Organization Total Health Trust starts operations as a healthcare provider.[21] Lagos
1999 Background Parliamentary and presidential elections. Olusegun Obasanjo is elected president. Nigeria regains democracy.[2]
1999–2005 Policy A new National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Act amends the Nigerian health insurance, first incepted in 1962. The new scheme will not become operational until 2005.[22]
1999 Organization National Hospital, Abuja is founded.[23] Abuja
2000 Background Adoption of Sharia law by several Islamic northern states.[2]
2000 Organization Mediplan healthcare limited is incorporated as a health maintenance organization. It provides healthcare services to the public and corporate organizations.[11] Lagos
2001 Organization Reddington Hospital is founded.[24] Lagos
2001 Agreement Abuja Declaration. The African Union countries meet and pledge to set a target of allocating at least 15% of their annual budget on healthcare.[25] Abuja
2004 Report Health insurance coverage is estimated to be at 150,000 people, or about 0.1% of the total population of Nigeria.[22]
2004–2008 Policy Nigeria's Five year Strategic Plan for healthcare is launched by the government.
2006 Policy New national health policy is adopted. The plan includes a re-designed National health insurance scheme that protects citizens against high costs of treatment, and a fair financing of health care providers.[26]
2010 Crisis Cholera epidemic breaks out in the north of Nigeria and extends to the rest of the country. 3,000 cases involved and 781 deaths.[13]
2014 Report Insurance coverage reaches about 5 million people in 2014 (a 3% of the total Nigerian population).[22]
2016 Report Life expectancy in Nigeria is estimated at 63.4 years, being ranked 216th out of 228 political subdivisions.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q Ajovi Scott-Emuakpor. "The evolution of health care systems in Nigeria: Which way forward in the twenty-first century". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  2. ^ a b c d e f "timeline". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  3. ^ "Lagos Island General Hospital". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  4. ^ Eno Ekaete Usoroh. "Achieving universal health coverage in Nigeria: The National Health Insurance Scheme as a tool" (PDF). Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  5. ^ "National Orthopaedic Hospital". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  6. ^ "Nigerian Medical Association". Retrieved 27 July 2016.
  7. ^ "ECWA Hospital Egbe". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  8. ^ "Sir Yahaya Memorial Hospital". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  9. ^ "University College Hospital, Ibadan". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  10. ^ "ECWA Evangel Hospital". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  11. ^ a b c d e "Top List Of Accredited HMOs In Nigeria". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  12. ^ "St. Nicholas Hospital". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  13. ^ a b Adagbada AO, Adesida SA, Nwaokorie FO, Niemogha MT, Coker AO (2012). "cholera". Pan Afr Med J. 12: 59. PMC 3428179. PMID 22937199.CS1 maint: Multiple names: authors list (link)
  14. ^ "Imo State University Teaching Hospital". Archived from the original on 20 February 2010. Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  15. ^ "Eko Hospital". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  16. ^ "Hygeia international". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  17. ^ "Lagoon Hospitals". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  18. ^ Menizibeya Osain Welcome (2011). "The Nigerian health care system: Need for integrating adequate medical intelligence and surveillance systems". J Pharm Bioallied Sci. 3: 470–8. doi:10.4103/0975-7406.90100. PMC 3249694. PMID 22219580.
  19. ^ "Federal Medical Center, Abeokuta". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  20. ^ "Clinics & Hospitals in Nigeria". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  21. ^ a b "NHIS - Nigeria". Retrieved 26 July 2016.
  22. ^ a b c "History of Health Insurance In Nigeria". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  23. ^ "National Hospital, Abuja". Retrieved 22 July 2016.
  24. ^ "Reddington Hospital". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  25. ^ "Abuja Declaration". Retrieved 24 July 2016.
  26. ^ "Health Maintenance Organizations In Nigeria". Retrieved 25 July 2016.
  27. ^ "The World: Life Expectancy (2016)". Retrieved 20 July 2016.