Public Health Activism and the Role of Civil Society in Good Governance: Some Reflections on the Nigerian Experience
This paper examines public health activism and the role of civil society in good governance in Nigeria. Using historical method spiced with empirical observation, the paper attempt to establish that public health activism by civil society in the areas of tobacco smoking control, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and Ebola Virus Disease impacted positively in engineering good governance by public health policy actors in Nigeria. The good governance catalyzed by civil society activism in the public health sector contributed to significant improvement in public health safety and the effective management of epidemics and health emergencies as evidenced in the cases of HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis and the containment of Ebola Virus Disease. Based on these findings, the paper concludes that civil society activism, if properly harnessed, holds the key to public accountability and good governance in Nigeria, and by extension, Africa’s emerging democracies.
Abdulraheem, I. S., Olapipo, A. R., and Amodu, M. O. (2012). Primary health care services in Nigeria: Critical issues and strategies for enhancing the use by the rural communities. Journal of Public Health and Epidemiology 4(1): 5-13.
Akor, O. (2018). Nigeria’s losses to medical tourism more than 2018 health budget. Daily Trust. Retrieved fromhttps://www.dailytrust.com.ng/nigerias-losses-to-medical-tourism-more-than-2018-health-budget.html. 7/3/2019.
Akpan, T. (2015). Country Case Study: Nigeria In-depth Landscape Analysis of Accountability for Maternal and New Born Health in Nigeria. Global Health Vision.
Aregbeshola, B. S and khan, S. M. (2017). Primary health care in Nigeria: 24 years after Alikoye Ramsome Kuti’s Leadership. Frontiers in Public Administration 5(48): 1-2.
Awofeso, N. (2011). Leprosy: International Public Health Policies and Public Health Eras. Administrative Sciences 1, 32-44
Babawale, T. (2007). Good Governance, Democracy, and Democratic Best Practices: Prescriptions for Nigeria. Lagos: Centre for Black and African Arts and Civilization Publications Monograph Series. pp. 7-16.
Brown, P., Zavestoski, S., McCormick, S., Mayer B., Morello-Frosch, and Altman, R. (2004). Embodied Health Movements: New Approaches to Social Movements in Health. Sociology of Health and Illness 26: 50-80
Bureau of Public Service Reforms [BPSR] (2015). How Nigeria Contained Ebola: Lessons for Institutional Reform. Presidency, November. file:///How%20Nigeria%20contained%20Eb ola%20(3).pdf. Retrieved 28/5/2017.
Civil Society Platform for Peacebuilding and Statebuilding (2015). Tackling and Preventing Ebola while Building Peace and Societal Resilience: Lessons and Priorities for Action from Civil Society in Ebola-affected New Deal Countries. CSPPS/Cordaid April.
Doornbos, M. (2001). Good Governance: The Rise and Decline of a Policy Metaphor?" Development Studies. 37(6): 93-108.
Drope, J. (2011). Tobacco Control in Africa: People, Politics, and Policies. United Kingdom: Anthem Press.
Edwards, B., and Foley, M. W. (2001). Civil Society and Social Capital: A Primer. In B. Edwards, M. W. Foley and M. Diani (Eds.) Beyond Tocqueville: Civil Society and the Social Capital Debate in Comparative Perspective, (pp. 1-14), Hanover, NH: University Press of New England.
Egharevba, M. E., Imhonopi, D., and Iruonagbe, C.T (2015). Neoliberal Reforms, Healthcare, and other Human Development Challenges in Nigeria. Global Journal of Human-Social Science: F Political Science. 15(2): 1-10.
Ekine, S. (2015). An Environmental Campaigns Worker for Environmental Rights Action (ERA), Friends of the Earth, Nigeria. Interviews with Tunji Buhari. Oct 15. file:///D:/Public%20Health%20Activism%20in%2 0Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/The%20antitobacco%20campaign%20in%20Nigeria%20_%20Pambazuka%20News.html. Retrieved 28/5/2 017.
Eme, O. I., Uche, O. A., and Uche, I. B. (2014). Building a Solid Health Care System in Nigeria: Challenges and Prospects. Academic Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies. 3(6): 501-510
Essien, D. E. (2014). Civil society in Nigeria: A force for social inclusion and sustainable development? The Davies Papers: Africa Series No. 1, January.
Federal Ministry of Health [Nigeria] (2013). National HIV & AIDS and Reproductive Health Survey, 2012 (NARHS Plus). Federal Ministry of Health Abuja, Nigeria
Federal Republic of Nigeria (1999). Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. (as amended) Lagos.
Federal Republic of Nigeria (2009). National Strategic Health Development Plan (2009-2015). TWG-NSHDP Health Sector Development Team. file:///D:/Public%20Health%20Activis m%20in%20Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/Nigeria%20National%20Strategic%20Health%20Development%20Plan%20Framework%202009-2015.pdf. Retrieved 26/5/ 2017.
GARPR (2014). Federal Republic of Nigeria: Global AIDS Response Country Progress Report. Abuja, Nigeria: National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).
Gberevbie, D. E., Oyeyemi, A. I., Excellence-Oluye, N. O. (2014). The Challenges of Good Governance, Accountability of Governmental Agencies, and Development in Nigeria. ACTA Universitatis Danubius. 6(2): 80-97.
Ghaus-Pasha, A. (2004). Role of Civil Society Organizations in Governance. 6th Global Forum on Reinventing Government Towards Participatory and Transparent Governance 24 – 27 May 2005, Seoul, Republic of Korea. file:///D:/Public%20Health%20Activism%20in%20 Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Soc ieties/unpan019594.pdf Retrieved 29/5/2017.
Igbuzor, O. (2010). Good Governance and Accountability of Civil Society Organisations in Nigeria. A Paper Resented at the National Consultation on CSO Development Effectiveness in the Context of Nigeria. 25th- 27th May,
Ikelegbe A. O. (2013). State, Civil Society, and Sustainable Development in Nigeria: Towards a Partnership for Sustainable Development. CPED Monograph Series No. 7. Benin: Centre for Population and Environmental Development (CPED).
Ikotun, A. (2004). Ethics in the Nigerian Public Service: An Analytical Perspective. Lagos: Nugalitho Productions.
International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights [ICESCR] (2015). Hand Book New Delhi, India: Programme on Women’s Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
Kankya, C., Akandinda, A., Rwabukwali, C. B. (2013). The Role of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) in Healthcare Delivery System: A Case Study of Child Immunisation in Kabarole District, Uganda. Health 5(8): 1277-1288.
Madhav, G. (2007). Report of the One Man Committee on Good Governance, July Human Right Watch (2007) “Election or “Selection”? Human Rights Abuse and Threats to Free and Fair Elections. http://hrw.org/backgrounder/africa/nigeria0407/index.ht Retrieved 03/03/20 17. Retrieved 22/5/2017.
National Agency for the Control of AIDS (2016). Stigma and Discrimination Reduction in the National HIV/AIDS Response. http://naca.gov.ng/wordpress/wp-content/uploads/2017/05 /Stigma-Reduction-Strategy-Final-1-PDF.pdf Retrieved 5/6/2017.
National Strategic Health Development Plan (2009). National Strategic Health Development Plan (2009-2015).TWG-NSHDP Health Sector Development Team. Federal Republic of Nigeriafile:///D:/Public%20Health%20Activism%20in%20Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/Nigeria%20National%20Strategic%20Health%20Development%20Plan%20Framework%202009-2015.pdf. Retrieved 28/5/2 017.
Nigeria Global Health Initiative Strategy (2011). Nigeria Global Health Initiative Strategy 2010-2015. United States Government Interagency Team, 28 September. file:///D:/Public%20 Health%20Activism%20in%20Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/Public%20Health%20Situation%20In%20Nigeria/nigeriastrategy.pdf Retrieved 27/5/2017.
NigerianCurrent (2017). Revisiting the New Import Duty on Tobacco. 23 January. https://nigeriancurrent.com/2017/01/23/revisiting-the-new-import-duty-on-tobacco/
Nwakeze, N. M., and Kandala, N. (2011). The spatial distribution of health establishments in Nigeria. African Population Studies. 25(2): 680-696.
Ogbogu, I. and Idogho, O. (2016). The Role of Civil Society Organizations in HIV/AIDS Control. In O. Adeyi, J. Phyllis, O. O. Kanki, and J. A. Idoko (eds.), AIDS in Nigeria: A Nation on the Threshold, (pp. 295- 308), Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
Ogundipe, S. (2006). Media Coverage: TB Issues have not received much Media Coverage because TB is not considered a Major Issue. In Public Health Watch (eds.), Civil Society Perspectives on TB Policy in Bangladesh, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Thailand. New York: Open Society Institute.
Ogundiya, I. S. (2010). Democracy and Good Governance: Nigeria’s dilemma. African Journal of Political Science and International Relations. 4(6): 201-208.
Okafor, O. C. (2006). Legitimizing Human Rights NGOs: Lessons from Nigeria. Trenton, NJ: Africa World Press.
Okogba, E. (2017). 35, 000 Doctors have left Nigeria for the UK, US – Report. Vanguard 31 December.https://www.vanguardngr.com/2017/12/35-000-doctors-left-nigeria-uk-us-report/. Retrieved 18/4/2018.
Omede, Adedoyin Jolade, and Bakare, Adebola Rafiu (2014). The Impact of Civil Society Organizations on Sustainable Development in Developing Countries: The Nigerian Experience. African Research Review. 8(1): 205-227.
Omoluabi, E. (2014). Promoting Better Management of Migration in Nigeria: Needs Assessment of the Nigerian Health Sector. International Organisation for Migration,Abuja: Nigeria.
Onyedum, C. C., Alobu, I. and Ukwaja, K. N. (2017). Prevalence of drug-resistant tuberculosis in Nigeria. A systematic review and meta-analysis. Plos One 12(7): 1-17.
Onyeji, E. (2017). 2018 Budget: Again, Nigeria falls short of the AU Health Funding Commitment. Premium Times, Nigeria. 10 November. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/ news/headlines248909-2018-budget-Nigeria-falls-short-au-health-funding-commitment.html. Retrieved 18/4/2018.
Onyeji, E. (2018). NHIS: Regulators should be blamed for Poor Coverage of Nigerians –Official. 6th March. https://www.premiumtimesng.com/news/more-news/260920-nhis-regulators-blamed-poor-coverage-nigerians-official.html. Retrieved 18/4/2018.
Orji, N. (2004). Civil society and poverty reduction in Africa. African Journal of Political and Administrative Studies. 1(1): 80-90.
Otaru, A., and Nwaosu, B. (2015). Stakeholders Seek 15% Budgetary Allocation for Health Sector. The Guardian 28 May. https://guardian.ng/features/stakeholders-seek-15-budgetary-allocation-for-health-ector/amp. Retrieved 18/4/2018.
Ottaway, M. (2000). Social Movements, Professionalization of Reform, and Democracy in Africa. In M. Ottaway and T. Carothers (eds.), Funding Virtue: Civil Society Aid and Democracy Promotion (pp. 77-104), Washington, DC: Brookings Institute Press.
Oyewunmi, O. A., Oyewunmi, A. E. (2014). Collective Bargaining in Nigeria’s Public Health Sector: Evidences for an Inclusive Approach. Research on Humanities and Social Sciences. 4(23):20-26
Pharm Access Foundation (2015). Nigerian Health Sector Market Study Report. Amsterdam, Netherlands. 14 June. https://www.pharmaccess.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/Pharm Access-Foundation-Annual-Accounts-2015.compressed.pdf
Premium Time (2014). Civil Society Demands Accountability and Transparency from the Federal Government. 17 August http://goo.gl/AUeSLw. Retrieved 3/6/2017.
Public Health Watch (2006). Civil Society Perspectives on TB Policy in Bangladesh, Brazil, Nigeria, Tanzania, and Thailand. New York: Open Society Institute.
Shils, E. (1991). The Virtue of Civil Society. Government and Opposition 26(1): 3-20.
Songonuga, T. O. (2015). Civil Society in Nigeria: Reasons for Ineffectiveness. M.A Dissertation. Naval Postgraduate School. Monterey, California. file:///D:/Public%20Health%2 0Activis m%20in%20Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/15Mar_Songonuga.pdf.
ThisDayLive (2017). ERA Calls on FG to Impose 150 % Special Levies on Tobacco Products. 11 January https://www.thisdaylive.com/index.php/2017/01/11/era-calls-on-fg-to-impose-150-special-levy-on-tobacco-products/ Retrieved 1/6/2017.
UNAID (2015). Submission to the High Commissioner on the Creation and Maintenance of Safe and Enabling Environments for Civil Society. September. file:///E:/Public%20Health% 20Activism%20in%20Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/70_UNAIDS_%20FINAL%20Civil%20Society%20Submission.pdf Retrieved 17/5/2017.
UNICEF (2013). Nigeria: Country Programme Document 2014-2017. https://www.unicef.org /nigeria/2013-PL7-Nigeria_CPD-final_approved-English.pdf. Retrieved 3/6/2017.
United Nations [UN] (1948). Universal Declaration of Human Rights. http://www.ohchr.org/ Documents/Publications/Compilation1.1en.pdf.
Williamson R. T. (2013). Funding Sources for Non-state Actors Working on HIV Prevention and Mitigation in Nigeria. Global Science and Technology Forum: Second Annual Global Healthcare Conference Proceedings.
Williamson, R. T., and Rodd, J. (2016). Civil Society Advocacy in Nigeria: Promoting Democratic Norms or Donor Demands? BMC International Health Human Rights 16(1): 1-10.
World Economic Forum (2013). The Future Role of Civil Society. World Scenario Series. file:/// D:/Public%20Health%20Activism%20in%20Nigeria%20and%20Civil%20Societies/WEF FutureRoleCivilSociety_Report_2013.pdf. Retrieved 18/4/2018.
Yunusa, U., Irinoye, O., Suberu, A., Garba, A., M., Timothy, G., Dalhatu, A., and Ahmed, S. (2014). Trends And Challenges Of Public Health Care Financing System In Nigeria: The Way Forward. IOSR Journal of Economics and Finance. 4(3): 28-34.
Zoller, H. M. (2005). Health Activism: Communication Theory and Action for Social Change. Communication Theory. 15(4): 341-364.
Copyright (c) 2019 Christopher Ochanja Ngara
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
Authors retain the copyright of their manuscripts, and all Open Access articles are distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided that the original work is properly cited.
SOCIALSCI JOURNAL allow the author(s) to retain publishing rights without restrictions.
This Journal is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.