HEALTH, POPULATION AND ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA; POLICY PERSPECTIVE, AND TRIANGULAR-DYNAMICS EFFECT
Ogbonna Brian Onyebuchi*
The concept of demographic transition and population dynamics should be accorded a paramount place if a meaningful development must take place in any nation. Scholarly studies have shown direct links between population growth and economic developments which impacts on the health of the citizenry. Optimum population distribution with good economic status will ultimately promote good and improved health care leading to improved health outcomes and positive indices among the people. This study identified the relationship between health, population and economy. Population structure is as a determinant or a litmus test for the economic and developmental strides of a nation. A falling birth rate could translate to increasing life expectancy over time, all things being equal. The economic freedom score for Nigeria was 54.3 in 2014 and rose by 1.3 points to 55.6 in 2015 making her the 120th freest economy in the world. Nigeria is now the largest economy in Africa. However, 61% of her 180 million estimated populations live below $1United States Dollar (USD) per day. Government policy through privatization revamped the banking and telecommunication sectors leading to massive investments in these vital areas of the economy. This preceded the elimination of dual exchange mechanisms in 1999. There appear to be relationship between population change, economic growth and the health status of a people in a triangular dynamic equilibrium, determined by government policies and education status of the people. A decrease in economic growth tends to adversely affect population growth and the health indices of a people. Positive economic growth tends to have a positive impact on the health indices and encourages population growth and vice versa while increase in population growth tends to adversely affect the economy and health status. These are in a triangular dynamic equilibrium stabilized and determined by government policies and their level of education.
Keywords: Public health, population, economy, policy, model, Nigeria.
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