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ACTION RESEARCH ON HEALTH SYSTEMS AND HEALTH CARE DELIVERY

Despite Nigeria’s recent interest in the improvement of the country’s health care situation, the health care system is characterized by a myriad of problems. Health services throughout Nigeria are delivered through a weak health care system which is characterized by inequitable distribution of resources, decaying infrastructure, poor management of human resource for health, negative attitude of health care providers, weak referral systems; poor coverage with high impact cost-effective interventions, poor utilization of the capacity of the private sector including NGOs, inadequate community involvement and empowerment, gaps in governance and effective leadership of the health sector, lack of integration and poor supportive supervision. There is evidence of the deterioration of the pivotal, primary health care-based health care system, which also integrates management of common ailments such as malaria and other communicable diseases. Most of the expenditure on health are consumed by the tertiary and secondary health sectors at the expenses of the primary health sector which provide basic services for over 75 per cent of the population particularly women and children. CPED’s research programme will focus on an examination of Nigeria’s health system with special attention on primary health care. Nigeria’s health system is confronted with lack of knowledge on many issues that should guide policy making on health care delivery. CPED’s research will contribute to a body of evidence on the strengthening of health system in Nigeria that can influence developing and implementing policies on equitable access to heath care. The specific objectives of the research programme address knowledge development (research), knowledge translation (influencing policy) and capacity building (Training and mentoring of junior researchers) components. The research programme aims to increase Nigerian policy makers and other stakeholders’ knowledge of evidence-based policies and programs that improve primary health care delivery, which in turn can facilitate the enhanced uptake of such policies and programmes. CPED’s research programme on primary health care system will engage with key policy makers and agencies working on related themes, identify areas of mutual learning, and inform debates and programming priorities to help shape public policies in ways that produce better development outcomes for rural communities and other deprived groups in different parts of Nigeria. Intervention programmes may address challenges facing primary health care in different parts of Nigeria.