At a three-day summit on sustainable development held in New York in 2015, the 193 member states of the United Nations (“UN”) unanimously approved a global scheme to attain a sustainable future and end poverty by 2030 by committing themselves to the 17 life-changing goals prevalently regarded as Sustainable Development Goals (“UN SDGs”). Good health/wellbeing is listed as the third UN SDG (“SDG 3”) and is designed to, amongst others, “substantially increase health financing and the recruitment, development, training and retention of the health workforce in developing countries, especially in least developed countries.” The inclusion of SDG 3 amongst the UN SDGs is unsurprising since a healthy life and improved standard of living represent two of the three key dimensions of human development.
In a bid to stimulate competition and to determine the level of compliance of its member states with the UN SDGs, the UN recently ranked its member states by their overall score (which measured progress towards achieving all UN SDGs) and ranked Nigeria 139 out of the 193 members. The implication of this is that the country is relatively lagging behind in its commitment to achieving the UN SDGs (including SDG 3). In fact, according to a survey conducted by Knoema, the mortality rates in Nigeria as at 2020 for infants, children under five, adults and sixty-plus were 57.86 deaths (per thousand live births), 95.12 deaths (per thousand live births, 27. 23 deaths (per 100 population) and 23.54 deaths (per 100 population) respectively. The average rate of death in Nigeria is considerably high and a contributory factor to that is the fact that a lot of Nigerians live below the national poverty line and cannot afford the high cost of health care.
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