Health impact assessment in Nigeria: An initiative whose time has come
Health Impact Assessment (HIA) is increasingly applied in many developed countries as a tool for advancing healthy public policy. This research was carried out to obtain a HIA situation report for Nigeria and to assess ways of enhancing the use of HIA to promote healthy public policy. Semi structured questionnaires were administered both online and by hand to health and nonhealth professionals in Nigeria. Inferential statistics was used in the analysis of the 510 responses that were received. Only 29% of the respondents had ever heard about HIA; similarly, only 19.3% of those who were aware of HIA had received any form of HIA training. However, 93.2% of respondents were convinced that HIA would be beneficial to the Nigerian health system. Using the approach of SWOT Analysis to discuss the findings, this research concludes that the time has now come, and the right conditions are in place, for the integration of Health Impact Assessment into public policy in Nigeria. Raising awareness and political commitment are the two major strategies to help drive this agenda forward.
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