Delta State, Sanofi commission diabetes, hypertension clinics

As part of coordinated initiatives to combat high prevalence of diabetes and hypertension, the Delta State Contributory Health Commission (DSCHC), an agency under the Delta State government, on Monday commissioned four Diabetes and Hypertension Clinics (DHC) across the state.

The flag-off ceremony was held at the Obior Health Facility, Obior in the Aniocha North local government area of the State. The DHC initiative is a public-private partnership (PPP) initiative between DSCHC and Sanofi, a global healthcare and biotechnology company focused on human health.

A DHC is a health facility and center 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.

However, the goal of the DHC initiative is to bridge the gaps by bringing healthcare closer to these communities.

“The establishment of the clinics was in line with the state government’s resolve to provide quality health care to all Deltans,” said Ben Nkechika, director general and CEO of Delta State Contributory Health Commission, while explaining the rationale for the public-private partnership.

Nkechika said that the cost of treatment represents a huge burden on the patients and that the 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 said.

Earlier, while welcoming guests to the event, Isaac Akpoveta, board chairman, Olorogun called on residents to patronise the 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.

“Joy that the goal is being fulfilled through the public private partnership with Sanofi on diabetes and hypertension,” he expressed.

Also speaking Folake Odediran , general manager of Sanofi in Nigeria and Ghana, 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.

Meanwhile, DSCHC and Sanofi have 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.

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