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NewsPublished: 21 April 2022

EUAA publishes Medical Country of Origin Report on Nigeria

MedCOI report Nigeria

Today, the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has published a general Medical Country of Origin Information (MedCOI) report on Nigeria. The report aims to provide national asylum caseworkers in EU with information on the overall epidemiological situation as well as the challenges in accessing healthcare. This, in turn, enables them to reach accurate and fair decisions when considering applications for asylum and international protection filed on health grounds. In 2021, EU+ countries received around 16,850 requests for international protection from Nigerian nationals.

Based on initial drafting by International S.O.S., our Asylum Knowledge Centre’s report brings together almost 250 reliable sources including the World Health Organisation, the United Nations Development Programme and various UN-sponsored global health initiatives, as well as the World Bank and the Nigerian government. It describes the overall organisation of the healthcare system; the role of the federal, state, and local governments therein; as well as the socioeconomic and human security situations.

The report’s main findings, which cover specific disease groups and paediatric care, include but are not limited to:

  • Nigeria, like many African countries, has a critical shortage of healthcare professionals. In 2018, there was 1 doctor for every 2,500 people, and it is estimated that there were only 3 nurses and midwives for every 2,000 people in 2019.
  • The National Health Insurance Scheme, launched in 2005, covers only 5% of the population through the Formal Sector Social Health Insurance Programme with over 70% financing their healthcare needs out-of-pocket (OOP). The OOP spending accounts for 77.5% of current health expenditure, classifying it as “catastrophic”.
  • The under-5-mortality rate is the 2nd highest in the world, with over 260,000 babies dying at birth, while around 257 die every day – within the first month of their lives. 
  • Despite dedicated national treatment strategies, Nigeria accounted for over a fifth of global Malaria-related deaths in 2019 and has a prevalence of sickle-cell anaemia that is 12 times higher than the global average.
  • In the face of serious challenges, the Nigerian government has nevertheless demonstrated political will and set strategic direction by committing to enabling its health development agenda, in line with targets agreed at several international fora.

Today’s report and its findings comes as Nigeria is faced with a challenging health and human security situation, including hundreds of thousands of internally displaced people (IDP), and most of whom are in the north-eastern region of the country that faces the continued terrorist insurgency of Boko Haram, and Islamic State in north-western region, according to Europol. Furthermore, the country’s population is expanding rapidly and is projected to become the third most-populous country in the world by 2050. The majority of the country is under 20 years of age.

The report is written according to the EUAA COI Report Methodology, and can be reviewed on the Agency’s Country of Origin Information Portal. It can also be downloaded directly here.


Any further information may be obtained from the European Union Agency for Asylum’s Press Office at the following email addresses: 

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