Utilization of patient navigation model in eliminating the speed bumps to quality healthcare delivery in Nigeria

A theoretical perspective

  • A A Agha University of Nigeria Nsukka
  • C E Onalu University of Nigeria Nsukka
  • P C Ekoh University of Nigeria, Nsukka
  • R C W Chidebe Health & Psychological Trust Centre (Project PINK BLUE), Abuja
  • Y Adewoyin University of Nigeria Nsukka
Keywords: patient navigation, barriers, disparity, healthcare delivery, social work


The healthcare system in Nigeria is marred by unending barriers that result in loss of lives and an array of health complications. People travel long distances for medical attention and often wait endlessly to access medical care. These delays have usually resulted in a disconnection between diagnosis and treatment. The speed bumps in healthcare delivery constitute the barriers, disparities, and inequalities that patients encounter in their health-seeking pathways. Patient Navigation (PN) is a patient-centric model and intervention designed to eliminate all forms of barriers limiting access to quality healthcare delivery. This paper aims at discussing the importance of applying the Patient Navigation model in Nigerian healthcare services delivery as well as the social work roles in patient navigation. A theoretical review of relevant scholarly literature that showed the intervention roles of PN in other parts of the world and its significance in breaking healthcare barriers was conducted. Patient Navigation promises to be a useful quality healthcare delivery tool that is greatly needed in Nigeria’s health sector. Social workers in Nigeria should take a leaf from the PN experiences in other parts of the world and brace up to adopt and integrate Patient Navigation into the mainstream of social work practice in Nigeria.

Author Biographies

A A Agha, University of Nigeria Nsukka

Department of Social Work

C E Onalu, University of Nigeria Nsukka

Department of Social Work

P C Ekoh, University of Nigeria, Nsukka

Department of Social Work

Y Adewoyin, University of Nigeria Nsukka

Department of Geography