The social work profession is growing in many low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). In Nigeria, the profession recently got backed by an act of law, yet with persisting grey areas about its roles and responsibilities in the health sector, as well as many other sectors. The relegation of social work in containing COVID-19, and generally in Nigeria’s health sector, is largely lamented by published studies. As similar countries to Nigeria face this same challenge, there is a need to reflect on the limited roles of social work in health and what can be done to address this. A global agenda in the ‘Health in All Policies’ (HiAP) aligns with the need to consolidate social care and justice in healthcare. This commentary, through a review of literature and practice experience, recommends a tripartite approach (union, community presence, and documented protocol), in scaling up social work presence in contexts where they struggle for identity.


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Agwu, P. 2023, 'Strengthening social work services in the health sectors of Low- and Middle-Income Countries: Taking lessons from social work actions/inactions in COVID-19 response in Nigeria', Social Work and Social Sciences Review, 24(2). https://doi.org/10.1921/swssr.v24i2.2194

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Last updated: 19 December 2023
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