See Below The History Of Nigeria Public Health Law
the colonial authorities provided health care to colonial administrators and their families only. A vast majority of the people had no access to orthodox health care. They depended largely on traditional medicine.
But the postcolonial period witnessed an era of independence and strategic development plans that culminated in the provision of basic health facilities and services, especially in urban centres.4 This is a major landmark in the history of health care development in Nigeria.
However, it had major pitfalls. For example, the entire health system depicted the British model of care that was patient-oriented, hospital-based, doctor-centered and curative in nature. Health manpower was limited; coverage and access to care was inadequate; management of health facilities was inefficient; and there was obvious imbalance between curative and preventive care. Generally, rural communities lacked access to care and, therefore, community participation and involvement was virtually absent.5
The above example illustrates history of health development “in the middle of [the beginning].”6 It shows how public health evolved in the recent past, at different stages in history, but not how it all began. In other words, history of public health in Nigeria is usually presented without due reference to biblical records. As a result, a wide gulf is created and a very weak foundation is laid for public health students being trained to serve as health educators and promoters in the communities. Bridging the gap is essential.