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Diseases that place financial strain on Nigeria’s healthcare industry

Article-Diseases that place financial strain on Nigeria’s healthcare industry

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But sustained investments and efficient policy reforms could alleviate the impact on the healthcare industry's wallet.

Nigeria as a country has been on a streak to strengthen its healthcare system. While efforts are being made, we are reminded that the battle against diseases extends far beyond the walls of hospitals. The financial load imposed by illnesses, which poses a danger to the country's healthcare industry's viability and expansion, is openly presented. The financial burden has a significant impact on not only how resources are allocated within the industry but also on how well the economy as a whole is doing for people, families, and the entire country. 

There are an estimated 100 million malaria cases, with over 300,000 deaths per year in Nigeria. Malaria stands out as a common and expensive illness among those that have placed a significant financial load on Nigeria's healthcare sector. There must be significant investments made in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of malaria, which is spread by mosquitoes and has a high incidence throughout the nation.  

The purchase of antimalarial medications, the deployment of mosquito prevention strategies, and the supply of medical infrastructure to reach rural locations where the disease is most prevalent all add to the financial burden on the healthcare sector.   

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According to the 2022 World Malaria Report, the nation bears the burden of the disease to the extent of around 27 per cent of the world's population. The survey also reveals that the biggest global proportion of malaria mortality, at around 31.3 per cent, occurs in Nigeria. 

A potential new malaria vaccine was licensed by Nigeria on April 17 this year. In preliminary studies, up to 80 per cent of children who received the R21 vaccine were protected against malaria. Nigeria is a nation in need of malaria prevention. 

The healthcare industry in Nigeria faces financial challenges beyond malaria. This includes the pervasive burden of HIV/AIDS. With one of the largest populations of people living with HIV/AIDS globally, significant investments are required for treatment, testing, and care. Managing opportunistic infections and providing comprehensive support services further strains the industry's finances. 

The cost of treating tuberculosis (TB) in Nigeria's healthcare system is increasing. A huge amount of financing is required for medications, lab testing, and efficient surveillance systems due to the high prevalence of TB cases. Due to a lack of funding, the fight against TB is a financial tightrope walk.  

Related: Nigeria embraces healthtech solutions

Other diseases that make it impossible not to raise an eyebrow are non-communicable diseases (NCDs). Conditions such as cancer, diabetes, and cardiovascular illnesses are recording an alarming increasing prevalence. The cost of receiving specialised care, purchasing medications, and having a chronic disease managed is also high.  

Maternal and child health issues strain Nigeria's healthcare industry financially. Investments in prenatal care, safe delivery services, immunisations, and neonatal care are needed to address high maternal and child mortality rates. The industry faces additional economic burdens from expanding healthcare infrastructure, training healthcare professionals, and procuring necessary equipment. 

The financial challenges are compounded by the need to expand healthcare infrastructure, train healthcare professionals, and procure necessary equipment and supplies. 

To lessen the financial burden on the sector and make sure that Nigeria's healthcare system is capable of efficiently combating these diseases, it is imperative to make sustained investments, employ innovative strategies, and create efficient policy reforms to alleviate the strain on the industry's wallet. Nigeria will be able to create the conditions for a healthier population in the future as well as a more successful healthcare sector if they tackle these issues. 

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