The National Health Policy and Strategy to Achieve Health for All Nigerians, promulgated in 1988, was the first comprehensive national health policy and it was acclaimed to be a good policy document. But this was 16 years ago. Between then and now, many things have changed and it is, therefore, necessary to review the policy to reflect the new realities and trends in our national health situation.

A National Health Summit was organized in 1995. Participants which included health experts, leaders, policy makers, health providers, health planners and administrators and representatives of health-related sectors examined the factors that had militated against improvement in our national health status and tried to chart a course of remedial action that would take Nigerians into the 21st Century and beyond in good health. The recommendations that emerged from the Summit and other subsequent activities called for the need to take a critical look at the National Health Policy with a view to effecting those changes that would accelerate health development in Nigeria. The Federal Ministry of Health organized the review of the policy during 1996 and 1997 but the revised policy was not formally endorsed.