The Urban Poor and Environmental Health Policy in Nigeria: Strategies Towards Social Harmony

Geoffrey I. Nwaka, Abia State University

Poverty and rapid urbanization are two of the greatest challenges facing Africa today. Health is also a major urban policy issue because poverty and slum conditions pose a serious public health threat to Nigeria's rapidly expanding urban population. In the poor areas of most Nigerian and African cities, inadequate sanitation and waste management, and the poor state of public health infrastructure lead to the spread of a wide variety of water-borne and other communicable disease. The paper considers ways to forestall the growth and spread of slums in the future, and ensure that the existing ones are upgraded and progressively integrated into the urban mainstream; how poverty which leads to slum conditions can be alleviated in order to reduce the worsening disparities in access to health care. The central argument is that human development ought to be at the centre of the concern for sustainable urbanization in the continent.

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Presented in Poster Session 1