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NCDs now a pandemic, can be fought through technology – Experts

Medical experts say Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) constitute the next global pandemic, even as the world is yet to recover from the effects of the COVID-19…

Medical experts say Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs) constitute the next global pandemic, even as the world is yet to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), 41 million people die annually from NCDs which include heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes and chronic lung disease, which are not mainly caused by acute infection but which result in long-term health consequences.

The experts say regular checks are effective in controlling any NCD, adding that the adoption of technology is a veritable control mechanism that will go a long way in improving the health of the people.

Stakeholders spoke last week at the launch of the “Wellness Plus” app by Wellness HMO aimed at revolutionising healthcare service delivery in the country.

This aligns with the programme of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) electronic insurance model designed to improve access to quality healthcare delivery by Nigerians.

The e-NHIS project, according to the Executive Secretary of the scheme, Prof Mohammed Sambo, is 80 per cent completed.

Represented by a Deputy General Manager, NHIS Lagos Zonal Office, Dr Bethel-Kasimu Abraham, Prof Sambo said all IT equipment had been deployed to states and would be linked to the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC) satellite.

He emphasised that the e-insurance project would impact all stakeholders, HMOs and healthcare providers.

In his keynote address, CEO of Bloom Public Health, Prof Chimezie Anyakora, said, “We are entering another pandemic of NCDs. NCDs are becoming a leading cause of death; a very serious burden. Our weak health system is overstretched. With technology, we can stop having an overstretched healthcare system.”

Group MD/CEO of Wellness HMO, Pharm Adetutu Afolabi, disclosed that the app was the first of its kind in Nigeria and that it gave its users the freedom to choose and customise the healthcare plan that suited their budgets.