9 Amazing Health Statistics in Nigeria

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Nigeria is a population of over 180 million residents. The country makes up a little over 2% of the entire world population.

In terms of health, there are many interesting health statistics with regards to Nigeria and in this post, we take a look at some of these.

Amazing Health Statistics in Nigeria

health statistics in nigeria

#1 HIV/AIDS

In 2016, Nigeria had 220 000 new HIV infections and 160 000 AIDS-related deaths. That same year, there were 3 200 000 people living with HIV, among whom 30% were accessing antiretroviral therapy.

Also, 32% of the pregnant women living with HIV are accessing treatment or prophylaxis to prevent transmission of HIV to their children as of 2016.

Additionally, an estimated 37 000 children were newly infected with HIV due to mother-to-child transmission. Among people living with HIV, approximately 24% had suppressed viral loads.

The major populations most affected by HIV in Nigeria are:

  • Sex workers, with an HIV prevalence of 14.4%
  • Gay men and other men who have sex with men with an HIV prevalence of 23%
  • People who inject drugs with an HIV prevalence of 3.4%

Since 2010, new HIV infections have decreased by 21% and AIDS-related deaths have decreased by 6%. As of 2017, there are an estimated 3.1 million people in Nigeria living with HIV/AIDS.

#2 Life Expectancy

Nigeria has the lowest life expectancy in West Africa. The figure is pegged at 54.5 years according to the W.H.O.

Diseases like malaria, tuberculosis and HIV/AIDS have contributed to this low life expectancy. Also, poverty, illiteracy and unemployment are responsible for this figure.

Other causes of low life expectancy include poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. Also, the low life expectancy is due to the following: motor accident (16%); natural death (6%); stress (5%); high blood pressure (5%); poor medical care (3%); bad lifestyle (2%); high cost of living (2%), negligence amongst other.

However, the life expectancy has been improving over the last few years and it is expected to reach 74.8 years by 2040.

#3 Maternal mortality rate

According to the WHO, the chance of an average Nigerian woman dying from pregnancy complication is 1 in 13.

The data also revealed that the country loses about 145 women of childbearing age every year making it the second largest contributor to maternal mortality rate in the world. The causes of the high maternal mortality rate in the country are severe bleeding, infections, hypertensive disorders in pregnancy (eclampsia), obstructed labour and complications following unsafe abortion.

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#4 Access to water and sanitation facilities

It is necessary to improve the quality of life if you’re looking to improve the life expectancy of the country.

And one of the ways of improving the quality of life is by ensuring access to clean drinking water. It is said that 68.5% have improved means of access while 31.5% still struggle to get clean water.

Also, when it comes to access to sanitation facilities, only 29% of the entire population of Nigeria have improved sanitation access as compared to the 71% that are still struggling.

Overall, in 2013, an estimated 70 million people, out of a population of 171 million, lack access to safe drinking water, and over 110 million lacked access to improved sanitation. Open defecation rates, at 28.5 per cent pose grave public health risks. Many schools in Nigeria lack safe, private toilets and hand-washing facilities. This affects enrolment and performance, particularly in the case of girls. The impact of water, hygiene and sanitation falls disproportionately on women and girls, the main carriers of waters.

The economic impact of poor sanitation and hygiene cost the Nigerian economy the equivalent of almost 1.3 per cent of gross domestic product.

Consequently, an estimated 124,000 children under the age of 5 die every year because of diarrhoea, mainly due to unsafe water, sanitation and hygiene. Lack of adequate water and sanitation are also major causes of other diseases, including respiratory infection and under-nutrition.

#5 Guinea worm disease

UNICEF has contributed to the eradication of guinea worm disease. In 2013, Nigeria was certified free of the disease.

#6 Malaria

According to the WHO, 3.4 billion people live in areas at risk of malaria transmission in 91 countries and territories.

Nigeria suffers the world’s greatest malaria burden, with approximately 51 million cases and 207,000 deaths reported annually. Consequently, the country bears approximately 30% of the total malaria burden in Africa.

Also, 97% of the 180 million Nigerians are at risk of infection and the disease accounts for 60 % of outpatient visits to hospitals and has led to approximately 11% maternal mortality and 30% child mortality, especially among children less than 5 years.

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#7 Tuberculosis

Nigeria is among the 14 high burden countries for TB, TB/HIV and Multi-Drug Resistant TB. The country is ranked seventh among the 30 high TB burden countries and second in Africa.

Over the years, the incidence of tuberculosis has worsened as a result of drug-resistant TB and the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Every year, 407,000 people in Nigeria contacted TB. This is the estimated number of HIV negative people. In addition, there are an estimated 63,000 HIV positive people that get TB each year. An estimated 115,000 HIV negative people die from TB in Nigeria each year and an estimated 39,000 HIV positive people also die. It is difficult to appreciate what it means for 154,000 people to be dying each year from TB so it can be helpful to read the page on dying from TB.

A major issue with TB in Nigeria is the low TB case finding for both adults and children. In 2017 only 104,904 TB cases were detected out of an estimated 407,000 of all TB cases expected to be detected in 2017.

It is also estimated by the WHO that 30,000 children contact TB in Nigeria each year and there are over 47,000 children that are eligible to receive preventative treatment. However, only about 8,500 children actually receive this preventative treatment.

#8 Chronic diseases

Chronic diseases also known as non-communicable diseases account for 24% of total deaths, where cardiovascular diseases take a lead of 7% of deaths attributable to NCDs, while cancers, diabetes and chronic respiratory diseases account for 3%, 2% and 1% of proportional mortality.

According to the W.H.O, the probability of dying prematurely from NCDs in Nigeria is reported at 20%.

#9 Early childhood mortality

Over the past five years, infant and under-five mortality rates have remained steady in Nigeria, at 74 and 117 deaths per 1,000 live births, respectively. At these mortality levels, one Nigerian child of every 13 born dies before reaching age 1, and one in every eight does not survive to their fifth birthday.

However, infant and under-five mortality rates have both declined gradually over the past 25 years, down from 126 and 213, respectively, in 1990.


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