Statistics and Health Implications of Poverty and Health in Developing Countries of Africa, with specific reference to Nigeria.


Maleeha Nasir (Intern from University of California Santa Cruz)


Nigeria is a lower middle-income country and Africa’s largest economy and most populous country, facing daunting development challenges. In 2019, the National Bureau of Statistics reported 40% of Nigerians (83 million people) lived below the poverty line of 137, 430 naira (US$ 381.75) per year. Another 25% (53 million) were vulnerable. The report predicted the poverty situation worsening further by 2023. In 2020, it was projected that the global socioeconomic crisis caused by the pandemic could push an additional 60 million more children into monetary poor households in developing countries by the end of 2021(Covid-19 and children, 2022). Nearly two-thirds of these children live in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. Poor households were the worst hit by child deaths. In the neonates, infections (sepsis, pneumonia, and meningitis), which made up 44% of deaths, were the leading causes of death, closely followed by intrapartum injuries (birth asphyxia/birth trauma) and jaundice/prematurity (NPC, 2020). Ambient air pollution-related deaths have been increasing, from 361,000 in 2015 to 383,000 in 2019, mainly in most highly developed countries (Atlas of African Health Statistics, 2022). The country’s geographic and developmental position makes it highly prone to human-made, environmental, and other public health events resulting in high mortality, ill health, destruction of property and infrastructure, environmental degradation, and displacement. For more than 11 years, non-state armed groups staged numerous attacks in the Northeast region, leading to the displacement of populations and disruption of health services. This compounds existing challenges (Who global health emergency appeal: Nigeria).

Keywords: Health, Africa, child deaths, mortality, Nigeria, statistics, infections



Covid-19 and children. UNICEF DATA. (2022, June 3).

  1. National Population Commission (NPC) [Nigeria] and CIRCLE, Social Solutions International, Inc. 2020. Nigeria 2019 Verbal and Social Autopsy Study: Main Report. Abuja, Nigeria, and Rockville, Maryland, USA: NPC and Social Solutions International, Inc.
  2. Atlas of African Health Statistics 2022: Health situation analysis of the WHO African Region — Summary report. Brazzaville: WHO Regional Office for Africa; 2022. Licence: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO.
  3. World Health Organization. (n.d.). Who global health emergency appeal: Nigeria. World Health Organization.


Click on our representative below to chat on WhatsApp or send us an email to 

× How can I help you?