Annals of African Medicine
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 149-158

Urbanization, cities, and health: The challenges to Nigeria – A review


Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Alhaji A Aliyu
Department of Community Medicine, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/aam.aam_1_17

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The Nigerian society is rapidly becoming urban as a result of a multitude of push and pull factors. This has generated urban health crises among city dwellers notably the urban poor. A systematic search of published literature in English was conducted between 1960 and 2015. Published peer review journals, abstracts, Gray literature (technical reports, government documents, reports, etc.), inaugural lectures, and internet articles were reviewed. Manual search of reference lists of selected articles were checked for further relevant studies. The review showed that the pace of urbanization is unprecedented with cities such as Lagos having annual urban growth rate of 5.8%. Urbanization in Nigeria is mainly demographically driven without commensurate socioeconomic dividends and benefits to the urban environment. This has created urban health crises of inadequate water safe supply, squalor and shanty settlements, sanitation, solid waste management, double burden of diseases and inefficient, congested, and risky transport system. In conclusion, when managed carefully, urbanization could reduce hardship and human suffering; on the other hand, it could also increase poverty and squalor. Some laws need to be amended to change the status of poor urban settlements. Urban health development requires intersectoral approach with political will and urban renewal program to make our urban societies sustainable that promote healthy living.


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