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The Bamako Initiative

During colonial rule in Nigeria, the British provided formal medical care in government health facilities to Europeans and, eventually, to African employees. The Nigerian citizens were able to obtain healthcare from the non-governmental organizations, usually missionaries, who provided free care throughout the country. Upon achieving independence, Nigeria's health system sought to provide access to healthcare and medical supplies to all of its citizens. In 1997 a coalition of African health ministers introduced the Bamako Initiative to strengthen the primary health care in sub-Saharan Africa.

Discuss the political and economic implications of the Bamako Initiative on Nigerian health system in terms of access, cost, and quality. Cite at least three sources to support your position.

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After independence, the Nigerian government quickly realized the massive amount of money it takes to provide access to health care to its people, and that if it attempted to provide free healthcare, it would quickly ruin its national economy. The premise of the Bamako Initiative was that the cost of providing primary health care (the equivalent of one's family doctor) would be collected by charging patients for drugs at a price higher than cost, a technique called revolving drug funds (the extra money raised from medicine charges is used to pay for other facets of healthcare). Thus, healthcare would be more sustainable.

Thus, the Bamako Initiative was adopted during a time of great political and economic crisis in Africa. One should also realize that it was championed by UNICEF, part of the United Nations. Slightly before this time, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund was pushing structural adjustment programs (SAPs) on developing countries to try to rectify the poverty issue in these countries and stimulate economic growth. The SAPs were quite harsh on the citizens of the country, urging them to work hard to contribute to their country and instructing the government to cut social ...

Solution Summary

The Bamako Initiatives are examined. The political and economic implications of the Bamaki Initiative on Nigerian health system in terms of access, cost and quality are Determined.

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