Nigeria Beyond Ebola

After Nigeria's successful fight against Ebola, President Goodluck Johnson has the opportunity to greatly improve the country's health-care system. The National Health Bill awaiting his signature would establish national standards, guarantee basic health care for all Nigerians, and cement his legacy ahead of elections in February.

ABUJA – When the World Health Organization declared that Nigeria had successfully eradicated the Ebola virus within its borders, there was loud global applause. Amid the cheers, however, few noticed a potentially even greater health milestone for Africa’s most populous country: the enactment of a new National Health Bill, which now awaits President Goodluck Jonathan’s signature.

If the bill is signed into law, it could transform Nigeria’s health-care system, providing a model for other West African countries seeking to learn the lessons of the Ebola epidemic and provide health care to all of their citizens. Jonathan is running for re-election in February. Signing the bill would demonstrate his commitment to improving health services for Nigerians, and blaze a trail for others to follow.

Ebola appeared in Nigeria when an infected traveler from Liberia arrived in Lagos in July. The consequences of a major outbreak among the 22 million inhabitants of Africa’s largest city could have been catastrophic.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

http://prosyn.org/PU06QM5;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.