Enugu is the capital city of Enugu State. Enugu City had a projected population of 915,500 in 2014, with a mix of residential, industrial and commercial areas. It has a considerable number of slums that can be found within the mixed-income and poorest neighborhoods. The Ogui slum settlement is at the heart of the city, other major slums in the city are Ugbo Odogwu, Iva valley, Ngenevu, Ugwu Paul, Artisan quarters slum 1 & 2, Nikenevu and Adazindube.
There are particular challenges faced by people in Enugu City; the topography makes it difficult to access portable water, and women and children in the slums are most affected by this, regularly having to source for water for domestic use from shallow wells, vendors, or collect rainfall water from house roofs. The average poverty rate across Enugu State, including Enugu City is 85%.
Poor diets and malnutrition (especially in under-fives) have been identified as key risk factors for the health of the populations, alongside a lack of utilisation of health services . The health system in Enugu City is facing a double burden of communicable and non-communicable disease, with malaria endemic as in most parts of Nigeria, high rates of water-borne diseases include diarrhoea, typhoid fever and dysentery, which peak seasonally due to environmental conditions. Key non-communicable diseases include hypertension, diabetes, coronary heart diseases and eye diseases.
The health system of Enugu State involves a complex plurality of providers. The State health system comprises of seven Ministries and Agencies, with traditional and alternative health care providers also coming under the State Ministry of Health. Enugu City itself has several public, mission and private-owned health facilities that offer primary, secondary, and tertiary levels of care. Most public hospitals in the city suffer from poor infrastructure, lack of equipment, and/or outdated or non-functional equipment.
However it is the numerous informal health service providers in the city that are the primary source of health care for the urban poor. Informal providers include patent and itinerant medicine vendors, traditional and alternative medicine practitioners including traditional bone setters, and traditional birth attendants. Strengthening the links between these public and informal providers of health care will be a focus of the CHORUS research to improve the delivery of essential and quality health services for those living in the urban slum areas.