By Royal Ibeh, Lagos
With 108 million internet users in Nigeria and an estimated 120 million mobile phone holders, HealthPlus, Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy has made history by launching West Africa’s first-ever ePharmacy and digital prescription platform.
The application will facilitate the interaction between patients (customers) and health-service providers nationwide. It also marks a big step in the democratization of health in Nigeria and providing unprecedented healthcare access for Nigerians in all geographical locations.
The chief transformation officer, HealthPlus, Mr. Chidi Okoro, at the launch of ePharmacy in Lagos on Tuesday, said, Pharmacists are the first point of care for many Nigerians and are critical to ensure access to essential drugs, adding that, “The HealthPlus ePharmacy platform is following the mission to enhance access to wholesome medicines and good pharmacy care services. Customers can now access professional pharmacists online from the comfort of their homes using mobile devices.”
Okoro said Nigeria is severely under served in the aspect of pharmacy stores locations, as only 25 per cent of Nigeria’s local governments have any sort of pharmacy. “That means, 70 per cent of Nigeria’s local government areas have no access to a pharmacist. Furthermore, Nigeria has one of the lowest productivity rates in the world. This is due to absenteeism and inadequate health care,” he said.
He however pledged that HealthPlus will help bridge this gap with its ePharmacy, adding that if more Nigerians have access to health, productivity will increase significantly. In keeping with its commitment to raise the standard of care, provide safe access to wholesome medications and reduce wait times, HealthPlus is utilizing the latest technology to consolidate the compendium of care and expand our vision to our customers’ mobile devices, he averred.
In the same vein, the CFO, HealthPlus, Ernest Eguasa, said the ePharmacy is a very exciting offering that combines technology and the capabilities of fast-growing sector dynamics of Healthcare and eCommerce in synergy to deliver high-quality customer-centric customer patient care. “It gives our customers a channel to conveniently get a wide array of their medical needs with the added benefit of One-on-One pharmaceutical consulting through our bespoke “Chat with a Pharmacist” functionality that ensures patients are getting exactly what they require for their optimum health,” Eguasa added.
The managing partner and chief executive officer of Alta Semper and HealthPlus’s private equity partner, Afsane Jetha, said healthcare in Africa is at an inflection point and has proven its ability to leapfrog traditional business models; it is becoming more consumer-focused and precision-driven. “With this technology and platform, we are increasingly focused on preventative care and patients’ well-being, in providing access at their fingertips and the last mile,” Jetha added.