Nigeria: Alpha Mead to Boost Access to Healthcare With Launch of Modular Healthcare Facility

23 June 2021

To accelerate access to quality healthcare for all Nigerians, a subsidiary of the Alpha Mead Group, Alpha Mead Healthcare Management Services, will on Wednesday June 23 launch a state-of-the-art Modular Healthcare Facility (MHF) at the Gbagada General Hospital, Gbagada in Lagos.

The MHF is a customised, mobility-enhanced, prefabricated portacabin with detachable modules equipped with state-of-the-art clinical and diagnostic equipment that is designed to take quality healthcare services to the doorstep of all Nigerians.

The Group Managing Director, Alpha Mead Group, Femi Akintunde, said this at a media interaction session in Lagos on Wednesday.

Akintunde explained that after a successful pilot of the company's foray into Healthcare at Gbagada General Hospital and Lagos University Teaching (LUTH), the need to make quality healthcare accessible to more Nigeria became even more pressing.

"So we went back to the drawing board. We noted that some of the issues slowing down the government and private sector programmes in making healthcare accessible for all are; how long it takes to set up a healthcare facility, inadequate amount of healthcare workers, lack of the required equipment and sometimes; even the terrain or location where these healthcare facilities will be constructed," he noted.

To address these issues, Akintunde alongside his team said they came up with the MHF. This aims to aggressively drive the penetration of healthcare facilities in Nigeria by reducing the construction timeline of a healthcare facility to less than 30 days - saving the time lost to design, construction, equipment installation and commissioning of regular brick and mortar healthcare facilities, which sometimes run into years.

The GMD continued that the MHF was designed to leverage technology to connect patients with medical doctors anywhere through its telemedicine facilities to address the issue of inadequate medical practitioners, particularly doctors in the rural areas or crisis zones.

According to him, the MHF provides the right healthcare equipment that meets the minimum standard for each class of the healthcare segment - primary, secondary and tertiary. It also reduces the dependency of the healthcare facility on public utility by running on efficient and clean utility systems such as solar power, and bio-digester sewage system among others.

In his presentation, the Managing Director, Alpha Mead Healthcare & Management Services (AMHS), the subsidiary of Alpha Mead, Kunle Omidiora, said the product is coming to bridge the widening gap in access to quality healthcare in Nigeria.

Omidiora added: "from whatever lens one chooses to view the challenges with the healthcare sector in Nigeria today - whether financial, personnel, equipment, systems or technologies - the biggest challenge with Nigeria's healthcare sector is that of access to quality healthcare".

He, however, bemoaned that the challenge is costing the nation a great deal. "For example, a USAID report noted that Nigeria shoulders up to 10 per cent of the global disease burden. The report noted further that this situation is caused by lack of access to quality healthcare facilities and workers, particularly in the rural areas.."

According to a 2019 report by the Nigeria Health Facility Register (NHFR), Omodiora cited that Nigeria has 40,345 registered hospitals and clinics to serve the 201 million population. This simply implies that one healthcare facility is responsible for an estimated five million Nigerians.

His words: "The problem is even more compounded with data from WHO report revealing that only a quarter of Nigeria's primary healthcare facilities have more than 25 per cent of the minimum equipment package. One, therefore, does not need to wonder why Nigeria loses over 1 billion dollars to medical tourism, has one of the world highest infant mortality rates, and why prevalence of medical errors in Nigeria is on the rise."

Meanwhile, equipped with features like Radiology Information System, Picture Archiving Communication System (RISPACS), Enterprise Electronic Medical Records (EMR) and Telehealth infrastructure for real-time reporting of investigation and remote consultation, the MHF intends to bridge the huge gap of access to quality healthcare.

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