Despites efforts of African governments in making continuous investments as an effort to improve healthcare infrastructure and expand access to medical facilities, citizens still pay high out-of-pocket costs for healthcare, compared to their international counterparts.
This is even as West African healthcare community will be coming together at Medic West Africa conference in Lagos, from 26th to 28th September, 2023, to brainstorm on ways to improving access to healthcare in the region.
In a press statement, made available to LEADERSHIP, the organiser of Medic West Africa Conference, Informa Markets, averred that a high-quality, patient-centered service that caters to the expectations of service users, can be achieved if there is effective collaboration among the various stakeholders within the nation’s health sector.
This kind of collaboration, among other things, helps to build the necessary bridges between primary care providers, specialists, hospitals, and community services, fostering a comprehensive and coordinated approach to patient care, it stated.
In its 2022 edition, Medic West Africa hosted 3,260 healthcare professionals from 84 countries – the largest for any healthcare event across the region.
Some of the innovative products displayed at the event includes telemedicine and remote monitoring devices which have allowed healthcare professionals to provide medical consultations and monitor patients’ conditions remotely; electronic health records which have digitized patient medical records, making them easily accessible to healthcare providers; and wearable health devices like fitness trackers and smart watches which have enabled individuals to monitor their health metrics continuously.
Other innovations displayed at the 2022 event, include medical imaging advancements such as MRI, CT, and ultrasound which have led to better diagnosis and treatment planning for various medical conditions; robotic-assisted surgeries which have improved surgical precision and minimized invasive procedures, leading to quicker patient recovery times and better outcomes; and many more.
The director, Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria, Dr Omale Joseph Amedu, while speaking on the 2022 edition of the conference, said, “Medic West Africa provides professionals with the tools and the knowledge to help solve todays healthcare issues in order to provide a better care for the community and to help development of the healthcare system by showcasing the latest trends and technology the medical industry has to offer all under one roof.”
Private sector players share the same sentiment, as they acclaimed that the event brought together the healthcare market promoting innovation in medical practice and education. For instance, sales manager, 3B Scientific GmbH, Joachim Butzlaff, shared his organisation’s desire to participate again in the following edition, adding that “with highly realistic medical simulators, skill trainers and 3B SMART ANATOMY models to support the advancement of medical and healthcare education even further in the region.”
Managing director, Jubilee Syringe Manufacturing, Akin Oyediran, also confirmed that his organisation achieved its objective to attract more distributors and get recognized in the West African market for its product.
Informal markets, however, assured that the Medic West Africa 2023 congress will feature healthcare business seminars, alongside clinical and lab conferences for physicians and medical professionals.
“Every year since its inception, the congress offers attendees an opportunity to network, discuss and deliberate with leadership from West African ministries, authorities, healthcare providers, distributors and solution providers. On the front burner would be exciting stakeholder dialogues, in areas of leadership and healthcare management across the public and private sector. Clinicians across the region can look forward to benchmarking their skills and clinical specialities, with insights from leading recognized clinicians of repute,” it affirmed.
The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a World Bank Group, estimates that in the next decade, sub Saharan Africa would need about $25-$30 billion in new investments to meet its healthcare needs. In the same vein, the World Health Organization (WHO) has called for increased funding for the Nigerian health sector, if the nation would reach its goal of 15 per cent set forth in the Abuja Declaration on improving the health sector.
“It is largely believed that this money will be needed to build out more hospital beds, improve production, storage and distribution of pharmaceuticals as well as enhance training and hiring of tens of thousands of doctors and nurses. Like the IFC and W.H.O, Medic West Africa believes that with the right amount of investment, a healthcare system that promotes quality, affordable, efficient and preventive care is achievable in West Africa and is capable of guaranteeing better outcomes for patients.
“For all healthcare professionals and key industry stakeholders, within West Africa and beyond, the Medic West Africa Exhibition and Conference is a must-attend event as organisers have constantly shown unwavering commitment to revolutionizing healthcare delivery across Africa through previous editions.
“As international healthcare communities strive for continuous improvement, Medic West Africa Africa Exhibition and Conference remains the most powerful platform transforming the healthcare sector and improving healthcare outcomes across Africa. The 2023 edition event is necessary for stakeholders across the value chain advance West Africa’s health care sector,” the organiser averred.