Many of Niger’s social indicators have improved in recent years yet its health system remains under severe strain due to a high fertility rate, lack of funding, and management issues.
GDP per capita
10% of household
consumption or income
Source: World Health Organization: Tracking universal health coverage: 2019 Global Monitoring Report
OVERVIEW OF UHC DEVELOPMENTS
Niger is a landlocked and ecologically fragile country with the highest fertility rate in the world, at approximately 7.6 children per woman of childbearing age. Its combination of strong population growth and low GDP has made it especially difficult for the country to advance UHC.
There are grounds for optimism. For example, more than half of the population have access to health facilities within a 5-kilometre radius, and the economy is growing at around 5%, albeit from a low base. Nevertheless, around 46% of health expenditure in the country is ‘out of pocket’. More critically, Niger’s 2006 National Strategy to progress UHC, which focused on revamping free healthcare for pregnant women and children under 5 years, has failed to be properly implemented due lack of funding and weak management, despite having high-level support. To overcome these challenges, a high-level, multi-stakeholder approach is required – a solution the country hopes to facilitate with the support of L4UHC.