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We performed statistical analysis of the 2013 Nigerian National Bureau of Statistics report to study factors linked to improved health outcomes. Female secondary education was identified as critical for improving health indices such as a reduction in infant and maternal mortality. Interestingly, other development indices such as female primary school, access to improved water sources, and sanitation services were not statistically associated with improved health outcomes. While national averages suggest recent improvements in health of the Nigerian populace, these averages do not provide a complete picture due to the great diversity in Nigeria. Our analysis reveals a polarized healthcare landscape with a dramatic trend of poor health outcomes for Nigerians living in Northern Nigerian states where women have a highly significantly lower percentage of percent women employed (p<0.001), women in decision-making power (p<0.001), and lower secondary education. Our analysis revealed that usage of available public health services was strongly correlated to female secondary education, which supports that the education of the girl child to at least secondary school is imperative for improved health outcomes in Nigeria. Our recommendation is that intervention policies should consider the diversity and geopolitical divide in Nigeria to be successful.
|ScienceOpen disciplines:||Education, Education & Public policy, Social & Behavioral Sciences, Family & Child studies, Development studies, Public health|
|Keywords:||Africa, Nigeria, Millennium Development Goals, Education, Poverty, Sharia, Islam, Religion, Infant Mortality, Maternal Health|