The gods are not to Blame: A Review of the Right to Health for Universal Health Coverage through Telehealth in Nigeria

Titilayo Aderigbigbe(1), Titilola Adegbile(2),

(1) BA, LLB, LLM (Ife), BL, Ph. D (Medical Law) Kent Professor of Law, School of Law and Security Studies, Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State Nigeria
(2) LL. B, B.L (Ife), LL.M A doctoral candidate at Babcock University, Ilisan-Remo, Ogun State
Corresponding Author


Ola Rotimi’s The gods are not to blame, Nigeria’s adaption of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, reveals the intricacies of human decisions in subverting destined outcomes. However, health decisions and choices can be controlled by modern technology through telehealth. Globally, guaranteeing the right to health towards achieving Universal Health Coverage (UHC) is recognised as basic health outcomes for every nation including Nigeria. The COVID-19 pandemic necessitated the adoption of telehealth to drive UHC and enforce right to health. Consequently, this study using a desk-based doctrinal methodology reviews available provisions within Nigeria’s primary health legislation, the 1999 Constitution and National Health Act 2004 on right to health, UHC and telehealth. It finds that the intricacies of man-made constitutional non-justiciability, inter-operability of multiple laws, bodies of government and statutorily created offices inadvertently subvert the promotion of the right to health for a desirable outcome of UHC through telehealth, hence the gods cannot be to blame. It recommends amongst others a National Telehealth Council under the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria for effective telehealth law and policymaking, coordination of relevant public and private sector involvement and implementation of inter-operability of multiple laws relating to telehealth in Nigeria.


COVID-19 pandemic, National telehealth council, Right to health, Telehealth and telemedicine, Universal Health Coverage

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