Defusing Nigeria’s double burden of disease is a development imperative

In 2020, the Covid-19 emergency briefly catapulted public health to the top of the government agenda in Nigeria. As the health crisis unfolded globally, it became clear that most people in the country were spared from severe sickness or death due to the pandemic, in contrast to many other countries, especially in the developed world.

Albeit encouraging, this should not detract attention from Nigeria’s multiple public health challenges that require priority attention. If anything, the pandemic-induced urgency must be sustained, to prepare for the likely more complex health challenges in the future. Evidence-based planning, resource mobilisation and intelligent allocation is essential, as health holds the key to both human development and a productive economy.

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Dr Julia Bello-Schünemann is a multilingual research consultant. She is versed in integrated forecasting across sectors (including demographics, infrastructure, economics, conflict and violence, etc.), trend and risk analysis, data analysis, policy advice for governments and international organisations. Her expertise straddles Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean, and the European Union. She possesses vast experience in project management, fundraising, strategic planning, multi-stakeholder consultations, training and facilitation. She is currently an Associate Senior Research Consultant with Good Governance Africa-Nigeria. She holds a PhD in International Relations from the Complutense University Madrid, Spain and an MA in Communication, Political Science and Economics from Ludwig-Maximilians-University, Munich in Germany.