Amplifying The Need For Telemedicine Adoption In Nigeria
Amplifying The Need For Telemedicine Adoption In Nigeria

Amplifying The Need For Telemedicine Adoption In Nigeria

2 years ago
6 mins read

Who else can stake his right arm that indeed Nigeria would be a better place if only medical advice and help can be simpler and quicker? Talking about a system where the general public can have qualified doctors, advise them on various health issues, diagnosis and even treatment right at the convenience of their homes…where ever they may be!

Oh well, it’s no longer a wish. It is dream come true with the telemedicine revolution.

What Really Is Telemedicine

The World Health Organization, WHO, has confirmed, “telemedicine is the delivery of health care services by health care professionals, using information and communication technologies for the exchange of valid information for diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disease and injuries, research, and evaluation, and for the continuing education of health care providers, all in the interest of advancing the health of individuals and their communities.”

Woof! Quite a mouthful, right? Let’s try to simplify. Let’s just say, telemedicine is all about having a doctor or a medic at your beck and call – right there in your mobile device. Oh yes! The revolution is making healthcare available to people living on less than $1 per day – like you and I.  Feel ill? No problems. It’s just an app away. That’s it! That’s telemedicine!! That’s the meaning!!!

According to one telemedicine provider (name withheld as this is not a sponsored post): “Telemedicine is an innovative way of getting access and delivering health care using digital devices such as the mobile device and computers. Patients can easily speak with a doctor via video call and voice call.”

History of Telemedicine in Nigeria

“When did telemedicine come to Nigeria,” you might be wondering. If we attempt to trace the history of telemedicine in Nigeria, then we won’t really do a good job. This is because its use could be said to be as old as sickness itself. Funny? Yes! But we have always practiced telemedicine of some sort without even knowing it. Doubt it? Please don’t. How else do we describe all the time, you took ill and all you did was pick up your phone and called one doctor friend of yours or pharmacist – what we call chemist in everyday use? That’s ‘telemedicine’ right there!

Okay. Let’s get serious. Officially, the use of telemedicine in Nigeria dates to 2007 when the National Space Research and Development Agency (NASRDA) and Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) inaugurated its pilot project in two teaching hospitals and six Federal Medical Centres across the country.

Is Telemedicine Really Effective In Nigeria?

With what we have so far, the blind could see that telemedicine has got all it takes to serve as a viable means of making up for the shortfall in the number of health care professionals available to serve Nigeria’s fast-growing population.

What shall we say? Telemedicine providers have unbundled medical service for all Nigerians and indeed the entire world. What we have now is phenomenal. With the telemedicine innovation, instead of taking the pain to travel all the way from wherever you are to meet a doctor only to be told that no doctor is on ground even in times of emergencies. These days, you can seek medical help by a simple mobile app, chat or call and a certified doctor answers every health questions you may have and even treat you remotely.

Indeed, the push to reduce cost of medical service in the country is creating a beautiful storm for telemedicine to go nuclear now. If you remember that not everyone could afford a basic health care in Nigeria, then you would see reasons with the urgent need to etch the telemedicine technology in the Nigerian system. It’s what Nigerians need. The COVID19 lockdown proved so too.

In a blog post, entitled, “5 Benefits of Telemedicine in Nigeria, one Dr. Jemima Amuta wrote: “Telemedicine in Nigeria has gotten a larger acceptance due to the recent Covid-19 pandemic, which has led to Nigerians seeking access to health care without having to visit the hospital and risk contracting disease while on transit or at the facility.

In another site content: “How the COVID-19 pandemic amplifies the need for telemedicine adoption in Nigeria,” one Dr. Wale Adeosun said, “What this pandemic has shown is that there’s a need for alternative measures to be taken within the healthcare space and one of those measures is telemedicine.”

Quickly, telemedicine is becoming the viable way of providing care for patients across the globe. Nigeria should catch this cruise too.

The Market

According to a 2019 report on telemedicine, the global telemedicine market is expected to be worth $53.1 billion by 2026 with a compound annual growth rate of 14.19% from 2019 to 2026. These figures may have been perceived as overly ambitious considering the low adoption of remote healthcare services around the world, but the COVID-19 pandemic shows the industry’s huge potential.

3 Amazing Benefits Of Telemedicine in Nigeria

  1. Second Opinion Privilege: Telemedicine is very reputed for what can be described as “second chance.” If you have ever been diagnosed with an unfamiliar ailment then you would understand this better: You’d want to go haywire. You’d suddenly have a million and one questions you want to ask the doctor. Pity but others are waiting. You can’t ask all your questions. No one would give you the audience. The accompanying distress? No words, no words. But hey! This is what comes free of charge with the telemedicine technology. You have the second chance opportunity. All to yourself, you now have a doctor who empathises with you, ready to hear all your symptoms no matter how boring. He is not easily rattled; no big ego. He is not in hurry to chase you out for another patient to come in.
  2. A Strong Help For Persistent Symptoms: Ever been treating a particular ailment again and over that won’t go away? That is why you have in Nigeria telemedicine providers. Sometimes, you discover that faithfully sticking to your doctor’s prescription combined with what your pharmacists gave you, you still couldn’t heal. The telemedicine innovation has all the time for the e-doctors to re-diagnose you right at your convenience and prescribe you the right treatment and you heal in no time.
  3. Overhead Costs Eliminated: This is another big and in fact the favourite benefit of all the goodies of telemedicine. Remember, we are never having enough money in Nigeria. We work so hard yet earn so little – the reason some of us should opt for cheaper way of getting medical help – the telemedicine way. You don’t need to spend transport fair, buy card at the hospital and other logistics just to see a doctor. A simple app download, call or live chat is enough. What about times you are too ill to even raise a foot? In times of curfews and lockdown? Really, you should make telemedicine an ally immediately and bid ‘bye bye’ to all manner of sicknesses.

Recommendations: Telemedicine Needs Top Of Mind Awareness (TOMA) In Nigeria

Maybe…just maybe what telemedicine providers need do at this stage is create and strengthen more awareness across the country. The e-doctors need to devote more precious time and energy teaching people the many benefits of telemedicine just so Nigerians can embrace the ease and convenience it offers when compared to the regular visit to a hospital or doctor. Nigerians need to join the rest of the world. Our population grows in geometrics and proper health care is further receding, threatening to disappear completely.

In fact, educating Nigerians to reason with telemedicine is what informed this piece. The providers are not doing enough! Not to keep brief for them but the telehealth sermon should be preached by everyone because of our health care peculiarities.

Therefore, the providers should be thirsty enough to take everyone by the hand and walk them through the amazing benefits of telemedicine in Nigeria if only to revolutionise the way you and your loved ones seek medical help, going forward:

The Takeaway

Don’t really know how you should feel about this great technology. But you should be super delighted. Should make your heart merry too –that you can sit at the comfort of your home and get medical help right there, right now.

This is a call to action since the tens of telemedicine providers would not. Please adopt a telemedicine service right now and see how you get to pay only a fraction compared to the heavy medical bill, Nigerian hospitals would have slammed you just because you sought one small medical help.

Sign up immediately.  Don’t forget to return to this Prime Business Africa website to share your first experience with us. You can use our social media pages too at Prime Business Africa if that’s more convenient for you.

Do kindly SHARE this post with your friends and loved ones on social media, Whatsapp, every platforms you belong. You could save a soul with this information.

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