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Foreign trips in search of medical care: outright blatant profligacy

A Essien


Nigeria has one of the highest Under Five Motality Rates (U5MR) and maternal mortality rates in the world. Life expectancy is down to 48 years. The health sector is characterized by incessant strikes, causing many, especially the elites, to loose faith in the Nigerian medical system. More than 18,000-20,000 Nigerians go abroad annually for medical treatment. Many of these ailments can conveniently be treated in Nigeria at far lower costs. The capital flight arising from foreign treatments abroad by Nigerians translates to about 400m United States Dollars. Increased investment in and higher budgetary allocations to the Nigerian health sector is necessary to restore confidence in this sector. If most of the treatment Nigerians go to seek abroad can be gotten in Nigeria, a lot of foreign exchange would be saved for productive ventures like Agriculture.

Key words: Foreing trips, medical care, capital flight