Thought Leadership Series

Is the organised private sector beginning to engage in health care?

Realising that not even all the money in pockets of our ex-governors can buy you health care in an emergency in Nigeria, parts of the private sector are investing in improving the facilities in our tertiary hospitals and in the health sector generally. If only they had some direction from the of our Federal government. For years, a proposal to establish a tertiary hospitals commission has been stuck in a National Health Bill that will be so out of date by the time our ailing president gets round to signing it. So we end up with these teaching hospitals, consuming about 80% of the budget for health at the federal level completely without the strategic thinking required to move them from 1960 monasteries to modern health care providers for the 21st century. Maybe …just maybe the private sector can help.

We have previously blogged about MTN’s recent donation of dialysis equipment to several centres in Nigeria. Now it is up to the teaching hospitals to organise the care pathways for patients.

SunNews. reports on a donation of a N100 million Accident and Emergency Spillover ward of the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), donated by Skye Bank Plc.

Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) has provided over N600 million to fight the spread of malaria in Niger Delta through the Africare-Nigeria project.

Find below a report of First Bank’s recent donation of the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital.

Its a good thing they are engaging….maybe just maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel. But sadly unlike telecommunications and banking no country can survive by abdicating its health service to the private sector.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed people can change the world; indeed it is the only thing that ever has…Margaret Mead

By Chikwe Ihekweazu

Chikwe Ihekweazu is an epidemiologist and consultant public health physician. He is the Editor of Nigeria Health Watch, and the Managing Partner of EpiAfric (, which provides expertise in public health research and advisory services, health communication and professional development. He previously held leadership roles at the South African National Institute for Communicable Diseases and the UK's Health Protection Agency. Chikwe has undertaken several short term consultancies for the World Health Organisation, mainly in response to major outbreaks. He is a TED Fellow and co-curator of TEDxEuston.

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