May 27, 2024

Healthcare experts raise alarm over rising chronic diseases



By Chioma Obinna

Healthcare experts from digital healthcare, Zuri Health, have raised the alarm over rising cases of chronic diseases in the country, saying millions are suffering from hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and chronic respiratory diseases.

The organisation said according to the World Health Organisation, WHO, one in four Nigerian adults suffers from hypertension, stressing that diabetes affects around five million citizens.

Speaking at the product launch of My ZuriCare, a digital initiative between Zuri Health and My Medicine, Programmes Director of Zuri Health, Dr Uzodinma Umeh, said 25 per cent of Nigerian adults suffer from hypertension, noting that cardiovascular diseases were a leading cause of death, contributing to 12 per cent of total mortality rates.

Umeh said: “With rising inflation, people tend to be affected by more disposable income is needed to provide for food and self-preservation. Many people with chronic illnesses cannot afford the exorbitant cost of hospital visits and medication and would rather self-medicate.

“One of the reasons for poor quality health is that many do not have access to good medical information promptly. People still rely on several myths about chronic illness, which leads to poor management.

Chronic medications are quite unaffordable due to lack of health insurance and with the rising cost due to the exit of large pharmaceuticals, this leads to treatment failure and worsening outcomes. Many end up discontinuing treatment.

“However, with myZuriCare, one would have access to affordable medications, AI-powered health monitoring, community support and telehealth consultations.

On his part, Chief, of Strategic Alliance and Growth for Advantage Health Africa, Mayowa Adeagbo said: “As you may know, NCDs account for many deaths worldwide and place a tremendous burden on healthcare systems, economies, and communities. And at these trying times of the Nigerian economy, we have thought innovatively to ensure Nigerians get the care they need at an affordable price.

“At Advantage Health Africa, we recognise the urgent need for innovative solutions that address these challenges head-on. In the last three months, we have been working with our esteemed partner, Zuri Health to co-create and re-launch our care program, myCare+ for people with chronic illnesses. This new digital health solution is called myZuricare. This partnership is to help us leverage each other’s strengths through collaboration. Zuri Health would be our demand generation and telemedicine partner while we are their operational or medication fulfilment partner.”