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Effective healthcare delivery in each country remains one of the parameters for ascertaining the country’s level of development. Today countries in developed countries have better functioning health care delivery systems compared to those in developing countries such as Nigeria. Hence, the standard of health care delivery in Nigeria pre and post-independence has not effectively performed to meet the health needs of its growing population especially those in rural areas. In fact, extant reviews of literature further justify the wide lacuna in health care channelled to rural areas as against the urban centres in the country. Therefore, this conceptual paper discusses healthcare delivery in rural Nigeria. Issues such as inadequate health workforce, complex health care systems, poor health financing mechanisms, poor quality of care, unavailability of drugs and vaccines are discussed in this paper pre and post-independence. The paper depicts that the Nigerian government shows greater attention and preference to urban centres as against her largest occupant “rural dwellers” – who needs improved care and medical attention. This is implying that healthcare delivery of urban centres grows at a geometric rate while the rural areas receive little or no care. It was also discovered that health delivery in Nigeria is not standardised as multiple providers exist. The paper suggests that adequate funding must be channelled towards rural areas as at utmost priority. More so, health policies/programmes should be designed and implemented in a participatory way for rural settlers.
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