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Coy to increase grassroots access to healthcare via mobile phone

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Monitor Healthcare Limited (MHL), a medical communication and technology company, says it plans to increase access to affordable healthcare for people at the grassroots in 2019 through mobile phones.

MHL Chief Executive Officer and Founder, Dr Femi Ogunremi, disclosed this to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday in Lagos.

“Nigeria has a population of about 180 million people and over 60 per cent of this population live in the rural area where there is no or poor access to healthcare facilities.

“About 90 per cent of the population has no healthcare insurance, and 70 per cent is quite poor and cannot afford basic health needs.

“Doctor to patient ratio is one to 3000, contrary to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) recommendation of one to 600.

“Mortality and morbidity rates are high; also, quackery and self-medication are the norms, leading to multiple problems.

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“Interestingly, a high percentage of people carry mobile phones.

“We are working on increasing coverage of our mobile platform that can bring a solution to these challenges at next to nothing cost to the users, “ Ogunremi said.

The MHL boss said that the company had evolved a mobile medical app that would run on smartphones and other mobile communication devices.

According to him, the aim is to bridge the gap between digital healthcare technology and medical practice in Nigeria.

“We are creating an Eco-system called AreaDoc, whereby we bring the public in contact with accredited healthcare practitioners, doctors and pharmacists in a portal.

“Patients can phone in or chat with these practitioners as a first gate to helping them with their health needs at next to nothing cost, “ Ogunremi said.

He said that his company also planned to reduce mortality and morbidity in breast cancer by increasing usage and awareness of BREAST-i, a breast screening device in Nigeria.

According to him, breast cancer is a major health problem as the five-year mortality rate is almost completely inversely related to that of developed countries.

He noted that while there was 85 per cent survival in the U.S. the survival rate in Nigeria was about 10 per cent.

“The major part of the reasons in the difference in survival rates has been lack of screening service.

“MHL plans to promote the reduction of breast cancer mortality by working with government, NGOs and private organisations in 2019.

“We want to promote a wide breast cancer screening using a simple device, Breast-I, to support national screening.

“We also plan to work with guidance to promote early detection and treatment, “ he said.

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The chief executive officer said that there was a need for the country to create awareness on rising cases of non-communicable disease and educate healthcare practitioners on approaches to reduce incidence and mortality.

Ogunremi said: “Non-communicable disease is becoming a major concern in Nigeria and our plan is to support government initiatives to create awareness and screening.

“Despite the burden of communicable disease, there is now a rising incidence of non-communicable diseases such as cancer, diabetes, kidney disease among others.

“Our plan in 2019 includes supporting initiatives and working with local stakeholders to promote activities that will lead to awareness and educate the public on ways of prevention and early detection,’’ He said.

The post Coy to increase grassroots access to healthcare via mobile phone appeared first on Tribune Online.

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