Improving Nigeria’s low life expectancy
*As St Racheal’s pharma opens antibiotics collections
Experts have listed measures to improve the average life expectancy of Nigerians from 54.5 per cent, which is one of the lowest in the world.
The medical experts including the Abia State Commissioner for Health, Dr. John Ahukanna; Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of St. Racheal’s Pharma, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun; and Founder and Managing Director of JAYKAY Pharmaceutical and Chemical Company Limited, Mr. Jimi Agbaje.
They said to increase life expectancy rate, the government must provide quality health care policies and think of sustainable healthcare financing, especially strengthening the primary healthcare centres, as well as providing free and affordable education, increase job creation, employment opportunities, minimum wage for workers and stabilization of the country’s micro and macro economy.
The experts at the official launch of a new pharmaceutical company, St. Racheal’s Pharma, and its antibiotics collections last week Thursday, also listed corruption, illiteracy, poverty and deaths from preventable causes among others as factors responsible for Nigeria’s low life expectancy ratio.
Ahukanna, cited NOIPolls, a country-specific polling service in the West African region, saying Nigeria’s life expectancy at birth as at 2015 stands at 53 for males and 56 for females, making her one of the countries with the lowest life expectancy in the world.
The commissioner for health, in his presentation tagged: “Improving Life Expectancy in Africa”, said the reasons why life expectancy has remained low in Nigeria has to do with sickness, which has the highest point with 26 percent and poverty with 24 percent. Others he noted include: “motor accident, 16 percent; malnutrition, seven percent; natural death, six percent; stress, five percent; high blood pressure, five percent; poor medical care, three percent; bad lifestyle, two percent; high cost of living, two percent; sin against God, two percent; crime, two percent; negligence, two percent and others two percent.”
Ahukanna stressed that the government’s poor economies play a huge role in the low life expectancy, adding that many African countries are poor and unable to build and maintain standard facilities that patients can access, with the issues of unpaid salaries in Nigeria limiting Nigerians from accessing quality medical care on time.
He noted that the high corruption index in Africa is quite high, explaining that financial aids do not get to those who need them, adding that the high rate of unemployment have made people resort to prayer houses or road side drug stores just to avoid high cost of treatment.
Adeosun, who spoke on a topic, “All Things Are Possible”, said the new company’s quest is to improve life expectancy through the availability of top-quality affordable pharmaceuticals in Africa.
“St. Racheal’s Pharma is aligned to the United Nations (UN) Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) three-Good health and well-being and four-Quality education. It is our desire to ensure Nigerians live long and businesses outlive their founders,” he said.
Earlier in his remarks, Agbaje, who was the chairman of the occasion, lauded the founder of St. Racheal’s Pharma for the bold initiative, noting that using such quality and affordable pharmaceuticals will help in improving life expectancy in Nigeria and Africa at large.
Agbaje unveiled the new antibiotics drugs after reports of the pharmacokinetics studies carried out by Lyrus Life Sciences were presented by West Africa’s first female professor of pharmacy and former Dean, School of Pharmacy, University of Lagos, Prof. Cecilia Igwilo; and a senior lecturer, Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Internal Medicine at the Lagos State College of Medicine and Consultant Physician, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Olayinka Ogunleye, who confirmed its efficacy and safety.
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