School and youth health

RAAPP in Nigeria

Country information

Nigeria has an estimated population of 106 million, making it the most populous country in Africa, and the 10th most populous country in the world. Nigeria has a very diverse population with over 300 ethnic groups, many local languages and varied religious associations. In spite of tremendous improvements in the last thirty years, basic health and social indicators show some high rates. For example the infant mortality rate and maternal mortality ration are 87 per 1000 live births (UNICEF, 1997). In addition, since 50 percent of the population is under 15 years of age, a close attention to the provision of quality health care and education for young people is needed.

Workshop participants discuss survey questions
Workshop participants discuss survey questions
Nigerian officials prepare for site interview
Nigerian officials prepare for site interview














Some of the major health and social problems that these young people face include infections, such as malaria and helminthic infections, inadequate nutrition and its effects, especially on girls, inadequate reproductive health information and services resulting in rising incidents of teenage pregnancies, illegal and often criminally induced abortions, increasing incidences of STI/HIV/AIDS and its consequences. There are also increasing cases of drug abuse and violence, especially in urban and semi-urban areas. The Federal Government of Nigeria owns and finances about 70 percent of the schools. The amended National Policy on Education states that all Nigerian children should complete free of charge primary school education. However, according to available data, only 70 percent of Nigerian children enroll in primary schools nationwide, with gender disparities increasing at the secondary and tertiary levels.

Source: Ola, J. A (with additional content provided by Oyeledun, B.) School Health in Nigeria: National Strategies (1999). In World Health Organization (Ed.), Improving Health Through Schools: National and International Strategies. (pp. 81-84). Geneva, Switzerland: WHO.

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