Patients living with Diabetes and Hypertention in Delta States can now heave sighs of relief as Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC) partners Multinational, Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria, to commission four Diabetes, Hypertension Clinics (DHC) across the state.
The ceremony, held at the Obior Health Facility, in Aniocha North Local Government featured free public screening for diabetes and hypertension.
The event, part of coordinated initiative to tackle the high prevalence of diabetes and hypertension in the state witnessed large turnout of people including former deputy governor Chief Benjamin Elue, board chairman of DSCHC Olorogun Dr Isaac Akpoveta, Chairman, Aniocha North LGA, Uche Oseme and the Obi of Obior kingdom HRM Kingsley Ugochukwu Ofuokwi JP.
The goal of the DHC initiative is to bridge the gaps in diabetes, hypertension treatment by bringing healthcare closer to these communities.
The project is a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative between DSCHC and Sanofi, a global healthcare and biotechnology company with focus on human health.
Explaining the rationale for the initiative, Director General and CEO of Delta State Contributory Health Commission, Dr Ben Nkechika said that the establishment of the clinics was in line with the state government’s resolve to provide quality health care to all Deltans.
Nkechika noted that cost of treating the twin diseases represent a huge burden on patients and as such, government decided to explore PPP options so that patients who require care are supported free of charge through the state’s contributory health scheme.
“All you need to do is get enrolled in the state’s health insurance scheme and you will be treated free,” he told the mammoth crowd.
A DHC is a health facility and centre of excellence equipped to effectively manage cases of diabetes and hypertension at the primary level of care and to refer patients when necessary.
In Nigeria, gaps within the health systems affect people’s health seeking behaviours. Many people in underserved and hard-to-reach communities often have to travel long distances to attend health facilities in nearest towns and cities.
The associated costs and inconvenience at times deter them from accessing healthcare early resulting in their conditions getting worse with complications of disease.
Earlier, welcoming guests to the occasion, board chairman, Olorogun Dr Isaac Akpoveta urged residents to patronize the newly commissioned centres in order to reduce the burden of hypertension and diabetes in the state.
He disclosed that the state government through the commission is determined to provide quality health care to the people in the state, especially in the rural communities.
Akpoveta expressed joy that the goal is being fulfilled through the public private partnership with Sanofi on diabetes and hypertension.
General Manager of Sanofi in Nigeria and Ghana, Pharm. Folake Odediran disclosed that the her company’s partnership with the Commission in establishing the centres of excellence was in line with its purpose to understand the healthcare needs of people in places it serves and to help in solving those needs.
DSCHC and Sanofi formally signed the contract for the implementation of the project.
The General Manager, Sanofi Nigeria- Ghana, Folake Odediran signed on behalf of the company while the Board Chairman, Olorogun Isaac Akpoveta signed on behalf of the commission.