The issues with Nigeria’s health sector are well documented. From an acute shortage of medical workers, to insufficient medical facilities, and inadequate equipment for the existing facilities to function; Nigeria has a long list of challenges that cast some shadow of doubt on the possibility of an early attainment of the universal health coverage and Sustainable Development Goal 3.
The implications of these challenges are also obvious in the over $1billion Nigeria loses to medical tourism, the perennial brain drain bedevilling our healthcare sector, and the social-economic impact on the general wellbeing of Nigerians and the prosperity of the nation.
Despite the government’s best efforts to further accelerate universal health coverage, the road to SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure) still seems a distance.
At the heart of the issues stalling the attainment of these SDGs is the challenge of access. USAID reports that Nigeria shoulders 10 per cent of the global disease burden, attributing this to the lack of access to quality healthcare particularly in the rural areas.
MHF to the Rescue
The Modular Healthcare Facility, MHF, is a fully equipped healthcare facility that can be built and operational within 30 days. It is a prefabricated, customizable, and transportable portacabin with installed medical equipment and healthcare technology applications.
All you need for a healthcare facility to be standing in 30 days is to get the parts of the MHF on a truck, transport them to your preferred location, couple the modules together, and start operations in few days.
How MHF will Improve Access to Quality Healthcare for All
1. Reduce Construction Time to 30 Days: With the MHF, setting up a healthcare facility is now devoid of the time lost to design, construction, equipment installation and commissioning of regular brick and mortar healthcare facilities. The MHF is a plug and play medical facility system.
2. Leverage Technology to Optimize Manpower: To address the issue of inadequate medical practitioners, particularly doctors in the rural areas or crisis zones, the MHF uses technology to connect patients with medical doctors anywhere through its telemedicine facilities.
From the MHF, a patient can be diagnosed, and the report can be digitally transmitted to a doctor or specialist anywhere in the world, the patient can consult with the specialist via the teleconsultation facility, and with the e-pharmacy system; the patient can pick up his prescribed medication at the closest registered pharmacy.
3. Functions Anywhere no Matter the Terrain: One of the issues with access to healthcare facilities is inadequate infrastructure like power, water, etc. The MHF has been designed to run on solar power and efficient water consumption. It is also equipped with a bio-digester system which can converts waste to energy.
4. Comes with the Standard Equipment Requirement: The WHO reports that “only a quarter of Nigeria’s healthcare facilities have more than 25 per cent of the minimum equipment package”. It is therefore little wonder why Nigeria records 42.8 per cent prevalence of medical errors.
Whatever kind of medical facility the MHF is acquired for – primary, secondary, or tertiary – the MHF comes will the standard equipment requirement for each level of these healthcare category.
The MHF comes in different variants that give investors and stakeholders a range of options to choose from, depending on their needs and preferences.
All MHF variants come with telemedicine facilities, Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Radiology Information System (RIS) and Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).
MHF 1, for example, is designed for Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). It houses a fully equipped laboratory, echocardiography and ultrasound scan facilities.
The MHF 2 is for advanced PHCs and Secondary Healthcare Institutions. This contains a fully equipped laboratory, echocardiography, ultrasound scan and X-Ray operations.
The MHF 3 is designed for Teaching Hospitals or other tertiary healthcare institutions. It will cater to the needs of specialist physicians requiring advanced diagnostic services. The MHF 3 comes with a fully equipped clinical laboratory, echocardiography, ultrasound scan, x-ray and Computed Tomography (CT) facilities.
Given the positives the MHF will bring to Nigeria’s health sector, particularly boosting access to quality healthcare, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo endorsed it during the launch of the MHF at the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos, on Wednesday, June 23. He acknowledged that it would help attain SDGs 3 and 9.
Mr Osinbajo, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, fulsomely praised Alpha Mead.
“I applaud Alpha Mead Healthcare Management Services Limited for harnessing its scientific and technological expertise to make this Modular Healthcare Facility, a solution available for use in the country. It will go a long way in supporting our journey towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said.
Mr Osinbajo added that the MHF has “appropriately captured SDG Goal 9, which aims at building resilient infrastructure, promote industrialisation, and foster innovations across sectors including health, innovation, infrastructure, and new skills in technology development.”
The VP further noted that the MHF would drive SDG 3 and one of its targets of achieving universal health coverage in low and medium-income countries. He urged other private sector players to emulate Alpha Mead, reiterating that the MHF would complement the government’s efforts at transforming medical care.
Where and how to use the MHF
The MHF is an answer to a lot of questions when it comes to deployment and availability of medical services anywhere in Nigeria. It can be used in places such as:
1. Camps and Emergency Response Centres: From IDP camps to military base, construction to emergency response centres, the MHF is a compact healthcare solution that takes quality healthcare to the to otherwise inaccessible places like these. Its modular nature makes it moveable to other locations as soon as the camp closes or the operation winds down.
2. Primary Healthcare Facilities: It can be used by government and NGOs to compliment and accelerate the penetration of Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs. Rather than lose time to construction and commission of PHCs, the MHF can serve as a plug and play option. It can be operational in 30days.
3. Secondary & Tertiary Healthcare Spaces: The MHF can serve as the diagnostic and laboratory facility of General, Teaching, or Private Hospitals that lack the necessary equipment.
With this significant investment in the MHF, Alpha Mead has affirmed that it is not just paying lip service to its brand promise of ‘We Care…’. Instead, it is committed to taking quality healthcare to the doorsteps of Nigerians.
Group Chairman, Alpha Mead Group, Mutiu Sunmonu (CON), affirmed same at the MHF launch in Lagos, noting that “a product that accelerates access, addresses manpower shortages, leverages technology and can be rolled out on a massive scale is what our health sector needs. We are happy to be leading this innovation.”
He added that for Alpha Mead, “the MHF is more than a healthcare facility. It is also an entrepreneurial package capable of serving both social and economic purposes by creating jobs and business opportunities for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, professional health workers, and support staff.”
“Our focus is to inject our internationally certified processes and systems into the health sector to improve the administration of healthcare in Nigeria,” Group Managing Director of Alpha Mead Group, Femi Akintunde, has reiterated.
There’s no gainsaying that Nigeria’s health sector will not remain the same with the Modular Healthcare Facility as this innovative product will bridge the widening gap in access to quality healthcare in Nigeria.