By Chioma Obinna
The spate of drug abuse, poor diagnosis and lack of access to quality healthcare among Nigerians leave much to be desired. Today, it is no longer news that most Nigerian youths have taken to drug addiction while self medications have become the order of the day in almost every home. Experts say these have resulted to untimely deaths of individuals and severe medical complications in many. Worse still, the non availability of health information has almost made it impossible to prevent even the commonest disease.
However, in what seems like a rescue mission to improve the quality of health care in Nigeria by working within the core principles of primary health care as recommended by the World Health Organisation, Invivo Health & Beauty stores has introduced a one-stop destination for all health and beauty needs with over 10,000 Nigerians treated free of charge within one year in its stores located in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan.
Speaking during a tour of its facilities in Lagos and Ibadan, the Director, Mr. John Onyeoguzoro,said plans are on to have 500 stores across Nigeria in order to treat 500,000 Nigerians free of charge annually.
“Already two more outlets are currently in the pipeline and these will run a pharmacy and treatment room with a resident doctor offering free consultations on daily basis.”
Onyeoguzoro noted that Invivo, a subsidiary of Smartmark Limited, was established to address social problems such as lack of easy access to primary healthcare; the menace of counterfeit and fake dugs; self-medication; and lack of early diagnosis of potentially fatal disease conditions.
In line with the company’s objectives led by the founder and social entrepreneur, Mr. Yakubu Gobir, Invivo is determined as a patient-centred and health focused business, to support the government towards achieving its primary healthcare goals.
He said the free check facility in all INVIVO stores allows patients to walk-in; get their vitals checked and a resident doctor or nurse to consult free of charge.
“Health is one of the basic rights of life, but unfortunately a lot of Nigerians don’t have access to it.”
The organisation is managed by seasoned individuals who have spent years in the pharmaceutical sector and understands where gaps exist and to offer solutions.
During the facility tour, Dr. Funto Ogundapo said the clinic collaborates with Ibadan South West Local Government Primary Health Care Department to provide free immunisation for children aged 0-59months and offer vaccination for Hepatitis B at a reduced price.
Ogundapo hinted that the clinic is into preventive health promotion services and awareness.
“Reproductive, maternal and child services are also available with counselling and information are given on family planning and contraceptive use. Body mass index calculation and weight management counselling are also given with subsequent follow-up of high risk obesity patients for cardiovascular risk assessment for all customers.”
On commonest illness seen among customers, she said High Blood Pressure, HBP, was on the increase and to check the trend, the clinic is following up on such patients to prevent further complications and ensure that their drugs are taken appropriately.