Over 70% of the Nigerian population form the Informal Sector and majority of the people live in the rural communities where there is poor access to quality health care services. Nigerian rural-urban health indicators reveal that the situation of healthcare in Nigeria is disproportionately worse amongst the poor and rural dwellers. The public healthcare is a shared responsibility of the three levels of government in the country with the Federal government responsible for tertiary health facilities, the state government manages general hospitals (secondary health care) while the local government is in control of primary health care, though regulated by the federal government through the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA). In the last two decades, Nigeria's public health care system has suffered deterioration. Health facilities (health centers, personnel, and medical equipment) are inadequate in this country, especially in rural areas. Generally, health care system remains weak as evidenced by lack of coordination, fragmentation of services, dearth of resources, including drug and supplies, inadequate and decaying infrastructure, inequity in resource distribution, and access to care and very deplorable quality of care. The lack of clarity of roles and responsibilities among the different levels of government also compounded the situation.
The national health insurance scheme (NHIS) which is almost two decades years old cover less than 20 percent of Nigerians with less than 2% non-formal sector’s coverage. Mobile health services intended to meet the needs of the remotest population though proved effective but not cost effective. The primary health care on which the Nigerian health care system is supposedly based has not helped in effectively solving the numerous health challenges facing the community members across Nigeria. There are cases of low uptake of cost effective interventions for priority public health issues such as non-communicable diseases, injuries, maternal and child health due to high level of poverty and ignorance. Many Nigerians still patronise traditional healers and birth attendants due to non-affordability.
Nigerians will therefore continue to experience high morbidity and mortality due to preventable conditions and disease if there are no proper programs designed to address each of these problems. LAPO community based health interventions aimed at improving the health of our target beneficiaries include community based health insurance scheme, community health outreach and the community campaign for cancer control in Nigeria.