A survey sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and carried out by the NOI Polls in February has ranked malaria and typhoid as “the biggest health challenge faced by the Nigerian population.”
Also, 78 per cent of respondents ranked both conditions their biggest health concern in the survey conducted by the Hala Nigeria, a project of the International Centre for Journalists.
Diabetes was a big health problem for only 12 per cent of those who took part in the survey and cancer was a concern for only 10 per cent.
Presenting the survey findings on Friday in Abuja, on behalf of Hala Nigeria, the Head of Polling Services in NOI Polls, Nigeria, Ms. Christiana Ogbe, said the survey was based on interviews with 1,000 sampled population across the six geo-political zones.
“In the nationwide wide survey, conducted in February, 2014 by NOI Polls, 78 per cent of the respondents ranked malaria and typhoid as their biggest health concerns. Diabetes ranked a distant second at 12 per cent and cancer was third with 10 per cent,” the survey stated.
The survey also revealed that in spite of the high public perception profile of HIV/AIDS and polio, those diseases were ranked lowest in concern earning seven per cent and two percent respectively.
On the expectation of the public on the policy direction of the government, the survey said the respondents called on the government at all levels to deploy more energy in the construction, equipping and maintenance of health facilities to enable them to keep the population in good health.
Up to 71 per cent of Nigerians described themselves as healthy but more than 60 per cent had been to a doctor, the survey stated.
The Vice President of ICFJ, Patrick Butler, said the survey gave Nigerians the chance to speak on their biggest concerns.
The Programme Director at Society for Family Health, an ICFJ partner, Dr. Omokhudu Idogho, said, “Now that they have spoken, journalists and health officials can take note as they seek to address public concerns.”