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Analysis of equity and social inclusiveness of national urban development policies and strategies through the lenses of health and nutrition

  • Onwujekwe, Obinna1, 1
  • Mbachu, Chinyere Ojiugo1, 1
  • Ajaero, Chukwuedozie1, 1
  • Uzochukwu, Benjamin1, 1
  • Agwu, Prince1, 1
  • Onuh, Juliana1, 1
  • Orjiakor, Charles Tochukwu1, 1
  • Odii, Aloysius1, 1
  • Mirzoev, Tolib1, 2
  • 1 University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Nigeria , Nsukka (Nigeria)
  • 2 University of Leeds, Leeds, UK , Leeds (United Kingdom)
Published Article
International Journal for Equity in Health
BioMed Central
Publication Date
Apr 16, 2021
DOI: 10.1186/s12939-021-01439-w
Springer Nature


IntroductionRapid urbanization increases competition for scarce urban resources and underlines the need for policies that promote equitable access to resources. This study examined equity and social inclusion of urban development policies in Nigeria through the lenses of access to health and food/nutrition resources.MethodDesk review of 22 policy documents, strategies, and plans within the ambit of urban development was done. Documents were sourced from organizational websites and offices. Data were extracted by six independent reviewers using a uniform template designed to capture considerations of access to healthcare and food/nutrition resources within urban development policies/plans/strategies in Nigeria. Emerging themes on equity and social inclusion in access to health and food/nutirition resources were identified and analysed.ResultsAccess to health and food/nutrition resources were explicit in eight (8) and twelve (12) policies/plans, respectively. Themes that reflect potential policy contributions to social inclusion and equitable access to health resources were: Provision of functional and improved health infrastructure; Primary Health Care strengthening for quality health service delivery; Provision of safety nets and social health insurance; Community participation and integration; and Public education and enlightenment. With respect to nutrition resources, emergent themes were: Provision of accessible and affordable land to farmers; Upscaling local food production, diversification and processing; Provision of safety nets; Private-sector participation; and Special considerations for vulnerable groups.ConclusionThere is sub-optimal consideration of access to health and nutrition resources in urban development policies in Nigeria. Equity and social inclusivity in access to health and nutrition resources should be underscored in future policies.

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