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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Health Services and Military Messianism in Nigeria (1983-1990)
Author:Alubo, A. Ogoh
Periodical:Journal of Social Development in Africa (ISSN 1012-1080)
Notes:biblio. refs., ills.
Geographic terms:Nigeria
West Africa
Subjects:military regimes
health policy
Health and Nutrition
Military, Defense and Arms
Medicine, Nutrition, Public Health
Health services
Health administration
armed forces
Abstract:Since the 1983 military coup in Nigeria health services have been declared a major priority of the military regime. This health priority, along with professed commitments to popular welfare and to the resolution of economic problems, constitutes the declared 'raison d'Ítre' for military intervention. Rather than being a solution, the various reforms which are integral to the overall economic austerity programme have, however, escalated the crisis situation in health care. Aside from the increasing incidence of nutritional disorders directly traceable to the austerity measures, there is more exclusion of the majority from available medical services on the one hand, while privileges such as overseas treatment at public expense continue for top government officials on the other. These obvious contradictions between professed commitment and actual practice are explained against the wider dynamics of economic crisis and attendant adjustments. Nigeria's political economy is characterized by subsistence agriculture and the overbearing presence of multinational corporations in the key sectors of the economy. This foreign domination permeates every aspect of Nigerian society, including the availability of medical care. Thus, without radical breaks with the 'status quo' reforms will not significantly change the situation. In conclusion, attention is paid to the fact that the obvious contradictions between the rhetoric and reality of military messianism has led to opposition. Bibliogr., notes, ref.