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Health indices And Economic Growth In Nigeria




The study examined “health and economic growth in Nigeria”. Secondary data were obtained from national Bureau of statistics, federal republic of Nigeria official Gazettes, federal ministry of finance, Central bank of Nigeria and national health demographic survey for the period 1990-2019. The collected data were analyzed using ordinary least-square (OLS) regression method with the aid of E-view computer software. The variables used in the analysis were real Gross Domestic product (RGDP), which is the proxy for the dependent variable(Economic growth), while health expenditure (HEEX),life expectancy at Birth (LEAB) and birth Rate (BIRR) are the proxies for the independent variable (health indices). Findings from the analysis showed that health expenditure has positive and significant relationship with economic growth; life expectancy at birth has positive and significant relationship with economic growth; birth rate has negative but significant relationship with economic growth. The study recommended among others that government of Nigeria should invest more in increasing her expenditure on the health sector of the economy, as this would create a multiplier effect in aggregate demand which will lead to economic growth of the nation at large.



This chapter is an overview of the study of health indices and economic growth in Nigeria: A study of Imo State University, Owerri. It is discussed under the following headings: background to the study, statement of the problem, Aims/objective of the study, Research Questions, research hypotheses, scope and limitation of the study, and definition of term.

1.1 Background to the Study

Health is the state of being free from illness or injury. Good health helps us to develop what we are capable of doing to society at large. Inadequate health contributed directly to redaction in productivity and loss of payment for the individuals, with disastrous consequences for the dependent class, The basic diagnostic point that good health is an integral part of development has therefore taken Centre stage in development thinking; this point is due to the fact that only healthy people can earn income afford and seek medical care for themselves as well as their families, have better nutrition and experience more freedom to live healthier lives (Dr. Lius G. Bambo 2006).

Health, according to World Health Organization (WHO), is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” By implication this involves a feeling of well-being that is enjoyed by individual when the body systems are functioning effectively and efficiently together and in harmony with the environment in order to achieve the objectives of good living.

It is pertinent to note that to sustain our global environment and improve the quality of living in our human settlements, we commit ourselves to sustainable patterns of production, consumption, transportation and settlement development pollution, prevention, respect for the carrying capacity of Ecosystem and the preservation of opportunities for future generations (U.N conference and human settlement, HABIT ATII Istanbul, Turkey 1996).

In this respect there has been a growing in thrust to analyze the relationship between health and economic growth this notion was brought about by the world health organization (WHO) report on health (1999). Mwrska (2005) comments of reducing poverty and achieving sustained economic growth.

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From this argument ,world health organization (WHO) urge African government and their partner to design National development plan that could provide opportunities for innovative reform for health and poverty reduction within past war or crisis reconstruction and also in the emergence of new democracies ( Brundtland , 1998).

In its renewed health for all policy the organization stressed that in addition to developing sustainable health system all organization efforts to improve health require making central to development by combating poverty and aligning sectorial programme of heath(Lipson 1996 and Lius et al; 1997).

As development paradigms move from a faces on economic growth to more concern for poverty and local ownership improvement in health, outcomes have gained recognition in programmme of national development and civil society participation identifies as the largest single factor in development (Wolfenson, 1999, World Bank 2000). The World health organization (WHO) has constituted a commission on macroeconomics and health (CMH) with the task of conducting the needed analysis of how health related to macroeconomics and development issues.

Health indices are crucial part of economy development, especially in the developing countries. Health indices combine changes in both quality of life (QOL) and life expectancy (LIFEPEC). Health indices such as quality of life and life expectancy, infant mortality rate (IMR), disability adjusted life expectancy (DALE), material mortality rate (MMR) death indicators or health indices of an economy are being provided solution to through three basic health sectors of the economy which are :secondary health care, primary health care and tertiary health care .All these sectors through their functions provides adequate measure to increase the labour force of the nation and invariably the level of production in the country . Therefore, it is necessary to appraise health indices in Nigeria as an important factors in her economic growth process.

 Available resources are not always reliable accurate, adequate credible to tackle the priority public health problem in Nigeria .These resources are not accurate and are inadequate to lay down value judgment about the health problems in Nigeria demographic data such as census health survey examples are census other demographic data health survey etc. are unreliable.

However, it is estimated by the United Nations that about 20%of Africa’s population reside in Nigeria and that over 50% of African investment is in its most populous nation (Chinsmnan, 1998). In spite of substantial economic progress and social advancement in the past thirty years ,there is still much human suffering and setting a development agenda that meets the need of its citizenry in a cost effective and equitable way about 48.50/0 of the Nigeria population lives in absolute poverty (defined as earning less than S 1.00 per day) with about 80% of the poor residing in the rural area (UNDP 1998) .The gross national product (GNP) has declined from S1.00 in 1980 to S260 in 1995 ,placing Nigeria among the 20 poorest countries in the world (UNDP 1998) .The quality of life indices recorded in 1980 was 38% in Nigeria ,the united Nation Department programme (UNDP) and human development index (HDI) for 2000 placed in Nigeria 151 of 174 countries assessed bagging behind Cameroon. Gambia, Ghana and Zambia without her National and human resource. Whilst gender development index (GDI) is a little better to 124th position. Yet this is a country that ranks 6th and the as oil exporter and production and ranks 10th as the most populous country in the world.

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Human Development Report ,Nigeria (2000) figure from the federal ministry of health indicate that infant mortality rate is 89.3 per 1000 live birth and under .Five mortality rate is 92 per 1000 live births for the male child and 174 per 1000 live births for the female child .Life expectancy rate dropped by 52years,Adult literacy rate 59% for male and 39% for female to 47.9 years for male and 49.1 years for female in 2001 only 49% have access to safe drinkable water and 56.3% access to organized health care service UNDP 1998). Also according to NHDR (2001) the life expectancy rate for an average Nigeria stood Brutish at 51years at birth. The maternal mortality rate (MMR) of 800 per 1000 live births is one of the highest in the world.

All the above threatening figures put together is due to the level of poorly planned, inadequate regularity of Nigeria economy. Beside the lackadaisical attitude of the government towards health development in Nigeria and these seem to establish the inescapable picture of a country that is one of the poorest in the world.

 1.2     Statement of the Problem

There seems to be a broad consensus that economic growth can definitely lead to improvement in health. For example, economic growth could lead to increased availability of food; increased earnings which makes health spending more affordable; and also raises demand for good health services. Higher growth could also imply higher public revenue which can translate to higher investment in health infrastructure. Thus, the question that would readily come to mind is whether causality exists in the reverse direction? In other words, does improve health leads to higher growth? If yes, how important is the contribution of health when one accounts for other potential factors that are empirically known to drive growth? It is therefore likely that causality exist in both directions, though they could be difficult to measure and estimate. Nevertheless, it is evident that there is increasing debate on which direction dominates. A resolution or informed contribution to this debate would have profound policy implications. For example, an empirical finding which suggests that growth lowers infant mortality could spur the necessity for putting in place growth-enhancing policy reforms. In the contrast, if it is observed that improve health of the population is growth enhancing, then it would be noted that social returns on policies that improve health status have been largely understated, and thus health improving policies would be part of the set of intervention measures to increase growth.

1.3     Aim/Objectives of the Study

The main aim of this study is to examine health indices and economic growth in Nigeria. The specific objectives include the following:

  1. To examine the relationship between health expenditure and economic growth in Nigeria.
  2. To investigate the relationship between life expectancy at birth and economic growth in Nigeria.
  3. To evaluate the effect of birth rate on Nigeria’s economic growth.
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1.4     Research Questions

The following research questions were stated to guide this study:

  1. What is the relationship between health expenditure and economic growth in Nigeria?
  2. What is the relationship between life expectancy at birth and economic growth in Nigeria?
  3. To what extent does birth rate affect Nigeria’s economic growth?

 1.5     Research Hypotheses

The following research hypotheses were formulated to guide this study:

  1. H0: There is no significant relationship between health expenditure and economic growth in Nigeria.

H1: There is relationship between health expenditure and     economic growth in Nigeria.

  1. H0: There is no significant relationship between life expectancy at birth and economic growth in Nigeria.

H1: There is significant relationship between life expectancy at birth and    economic growth in Nigeria.

  1. H0: Birth rate has not significantly affected economic growth in Nigeria

H1: Birth rate has significantly affected economic growth in Nigeria.

 1.6     Significance of the Study

It is perceived that at the completion of the study, the findings will be of great benefit to Ministry of Health in their quest to combat health indices in the country.

The findings will also be of great importance to the Nigeria Ministry of Health, both state and National in their quest to reduce the level of health indices in Nigeria.

Finally the study will be of great importance to researchers as it will serve as a source of information to any one that would wish to embark on further research with respect to the subject matter or on similar topics.

 1.7     Scope and Limitation of the Study

This study examines health indices and Economic growth in Nigeria. It focuses on the Real Gross Domestic Product (RGDP) which is the proxy used to measure the dependent variable (Economic Growth). On the other hand, the study uses Health Expenditure (HEEX), Life Expectancy at Birth (LEAB), and Birth Rate (BIRR) as proxies to measure the independent variable (Health Indices). The study would cover the period of thirty (30) years; 1990-2019.


1.8 Definition of Terms

The following terms used during the study are explained below:

  1. Economic Growth

Economic Growth can be defined as a quantitative sustained increase in the per capita output or income of a country supplemented by an increase in labour force and capital.

  1. Health

Health for the purpose of this study refers to a complete state of an individual’s wellbeing taking into consideration both the mortality and the morbidity aspect.

  1. Life Expectancy

Life expectancy in this study captures the mortality aspect of health and it refers to the average length or number of years a newborn is expected to live given the prevailing mortality rate.

  1. Morbidity

Morbidity can be defined as the presence or frequency of illness in an individual’s life time, that is it accounts for the quality of one’s life.

  1. Health Expenditure

Health expenditure includes all expenditures for the provision of health services, family planning activities, nutrition activities and emergency aid designated for health.

Pages:  57

Category: Project

Format:  Word & PDF        

Chapters: 1-5                                 

Material contains Table of Content, Abstract and References.


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