Help set up a patient navigation program in Nigeria
Organized by: Caleb Egwuenu
The health care system in Nigeria is riddled with disparities. The Nigerian government has made efforts to improve access to healthcare and equity in health distribution for its population. But the health care system is not as effective as it should due to inequitable distribution of resources, negative attitudes of some health care providers, weak referral systems, lack of integration, poor supportive supervision and financial barriers. With the advent of terrorism in the country and rise in the number of internally displaced persons, these health disparities continue to widen. Most of the payments for health services provided in Nigeria are out-of pocket. These kind of payments fail to promote utilization of health care services for early detection and treatment of diseases . Additionally, a high proportion of Nigerians remain uninsured and do not have equal access to similar health outcomes as inequalities in access to care by health insurance status exists. In Calabar, Nigeria; those enrolled in NHIS were twice as likely to have sought care from a hospital and enrolment is recognized as a significant determinant to access quality health care. For a new cancer patient, there is an overwhelming amount of new information, multiple physicians, multiple appointments and multiple treatments and side effects in possibly different locations. Many of these most vulnerable patients may have and continue to have difficulty accessing and navigating the health care delivery system, without knowing what resources and support they might require and is available to them. They also might need to travel to tertiary institutions that are located far away from home and community support systems. Stand Up To Cancer Nigeria plans to establish a Patient Navigation System in selected health facilities in the country.