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HealthPlus inaugurates first-ever digital prescription website to fast track provision of healthcare

By Charles Ozioma
09 December 2021   |   3:28 am
Pharmaceutical chain, HealthPlus, has inaugurated an ePharmacy platform, as part of efforts to enhance access to wholesome medicines and good care services.

Pharmaceutical chain, HealthPlus, has inaugurated an ePharmacy platform, as part of efforts to enhance access to wholesome medicines and good care services. It will also allow customers access professional pharmacists online from the comfort of their homes using mobile devices.

Chief Transformational Officer, HealthPlus, Mr. Chidi Okoro, at the inauguration of the service, on Tuesday, said the initiative would help connect more Nigerians to qualified pharmacists and fast track the provision of efficient health care.

He said: “HealthPlus, Nigeria’s first integrative pharmacy has made history by inaugurating Nigeria’s and if not West Africa’s first-ever ePharmacy and digital prescription platform. Nigerians located anywhere in the country and indeed anywhere in the world can now get a prescription from a certified pharmacist and have the medicines delivered promptly.

“This game changing application is believed to facilitate interaction between patients (customers) and health-service providers nationwide. It also marks a big step in the democratisation of health in Nigeria and provides unprecedented healthcare access for Nigerians in all geographical locations.”

Okoro said pharmacists are the first point of care for many Nigerians and are critical to ensuring access to essential drugs. He said Nigeria is severely under served in the aspect of pharmacy store locations and that only 25 per cent of Nigeria’s local councils have any sort of pharmacy. That means over 70 per cent of the councils have no access to a pharmacist.

Okoro pledged that HealthPlus would help bridge this gap. “Furthermore Nigeria has one of the lowest productivity rates in the world. This is due to absenteeism and inadequate health care. If more Nigerians have access to health and we take a more proactive approach, productivity will increase significantly,” he said.

Okoro continued: “In keeping with its commitment to raise the standard of care, provide safe access to wholesome medications and reduce waiting time, HealthPlus is utilising the latest technology to consolidate the compendium of care and expand our vision to our customers’ mobile devices.”

Chief Finance Officer (CFO), Ernest Eguasa, said: “This 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.”

Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) 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 said the HealthPlus ePharmacy is attributed to a rise in the number of Internet consumers, increased access to web-based and online services, and the rising implementation of e-prescriptions in hospitals and other healthcare services.

Jetha said with 108 million Internet users in Nigeria and an estimated 120 million mobile phone holders, HealthPlus is now able to connect more Nigerians to qualified pharmacists and fast track the provision of efficient health care.

Managing Director at Alta Semper, Zachary Fond, said HealthPlus’ commitment to superior quality at reasonable cost maintains the company’s vision to be West Africa’s most trusted healthcare retail brand. “HealthPlus is at the forefront of being able to respond to this industry evolution, given the strength of the Company’s brand and its growing footprint nationally, we plan to dedicate further efforts to transformative initiatives aimed at integrating end-to-end healthcare services for our customers,” Fond said.

Meanwhile, new research investigating the benefits of telehealth-delivered exercise and diet programmes has found 80 per cent of participants experienced improvement in pain and an average of 10 per cent in loss of body weight, with one man shedding 39 kilogrammes.

More than 400 individuals with knee osteoarthritis participated in the Better Knee, Better Me trial, developed by the University of Melbourne in partnership with Medibank and Austin Health.

Published in the Annals of Internal Medicine Monday, the study showed researchers evaluated two six-month telehealth-delivered exercise programmes, one with and one without a weight-loss dietary programme, compared with an information-only control group.

During the trial, participants in the intervention groups were provided support from physiotherapists and dietitians via Zoom and a suite of resources. Those in the exercise plus diet group also received meal replacements so they could undertake a ketogenic low energy diet.

Compared to the group that only received information, both intervention programmes resulted in benefits for pain, function and quality of life. Compared to the exercise-only programme, the combined exercise and diet program led to additional benefits — including a greater reduction in pain, greater improvements in physical function, lower use of pain medications, and significant weight loss. After both programmes, participants were also less willing to undergo knee joint replacement surgery.

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