Alpha Mead Boosts Access to Quality Healthcare with Modular Healthcare Facility
Leveraging technology to tackle some of the myriads of challenges facing the healthcare sector, Alpha Mead’s prefabricated Modular Healthcare Facility is set to make a difference,
The distribution of healthcare facilities across Nigeria is non-uniform. It had been widely reported that there is a discrepancy in the availability and access to medical facilities in the public as well as privateowned health institutions. Many researchers also claimed that the distribution of health facilities favoured urban neighborhoods over rural communities.
From acute shortage of medical workers to insufficient medical facilities; the possibility of an early attainment of the universal health coverage is daunting. For many, achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 3 which is to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages could be just a pipe dream.
A Price Waterhouse Coopers (2016) report states that Nigerians spend $1 billion annually on medical tourism. This is nearly 20 per cent of the total government expenditure on public health sector for the year including salaries of all public sector doctors, nurses and other healthcare workers.
In addition, perennial brain drain rocks the sector. According to data on the U.K. General Medical Council website, there are at least 8,178 medical doctors of Nigerian origin working in the U.K. The exodus has worsened healthcare in a country that has one doctor for every 5,000 people, says the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Despite the government’s efforts to further accelerate universal health coverage, fast-tracking SDGs 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and 9 (Industry, innovation, and infrastructure) still seems far-fetched.
At the heart of the issues stalling the attainment of these SDGs is the challenge of access. USAID’s report in 2020 held that Nigeria shoulders 10 per cent of the global disease burden, attributing this to the lack of access to quality healthcare particularly in the rural areas. The intervention of Alpha Mead in improving access to health care facility has been gratifying. Alpha Mead, a facility management and real-estate firm recently introduced the Modular Healthcare Facility (MHF) recently to the public. It is a fully-equipped healthcare facility that can be built and operational within 30 days. A prefabricated, customizable, and transportable portacabin, it is installed with medical equipment and healthcare technology applications.
Easy assemblage is one of the high points for this facility. Within 30 days, parts of the MHF could be hauled on a truck, transported to a selected site, coupled and operations could commence within a few days. MHF is set to change the narrative for the healthcare sector. It erases the time lost to design, construction, equipment installation and commissioning of regular brick and mortar healthcare facilities. The MHF is a plug and play medical facility system, leveraging technology to optimise manpower. To address the issue of inadequate medical practitioners, particularly in the rural areas or crisis zones, the MHF uses technology to connect patients with medical doctors anywhere through its telemedicine facilities.
From the MHF, a patient can be diagnosed and the report can be digitally transmitted to a doctor or specialist. Also, the patient can consult with the specialist via the teleconsultation facility, and with the e-pharmacy system; the patient can pick up his prescribed medication at the closest registered pharmacy.
To avoid the complications that power outage usually causes to the health-care delivery system, the MHF has been designed to run on solar power and efficient water consumption alongside a biodigester system which can convert waste to energy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that “only a quarter of Nigeria’s healthcare facilities have more than 25% of the minimum equipment package.’’ It’s no wonder why Nigeria records 42.8% prevalence of medical errors.
MHF’s capacity can cater to all levels of these healthcare category, be it primary, secondary or tertiary. It is designed with different variants to give investors and stakeholders a range of options to choose from, depending on their needs and preferences.
All MHF variants come with telemedicine facilities, Electronic Medical Records (EMR), Radiology Information System (RIS) and Picture Archiving and Communication System (PACS).
MHF 1, for example, is designed for Primary Healthcare Centres (PHCs). It houses a fully equipped laboratory, echocardiography and ultrasound scan facilities. The MHF 2 is for advanced PHCs and Secondary Healthcare Institutions. This contains a fully equipped laboratory, echocardiography, ultrasound scan and X-ray operations, while the MHF 3 is designed for Teaching Hospitals or other tertiary healthcare institutions. It will cater to the needs of specialist physicians requiring advanced diagnostic services with its fully-equipped clinical laboratory, echocardiography, ultrasound scan, x-ray and Computed Tomography (CT) facilities.
Given the positives the MHF will bring to Nigeria’s health sector, particularly boosting access to quality healthcare, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo endorsed it during the launch of the MHF at the General Hospital, Gbagada, Lagos, on Wednesday, June 23. He acknowledged that it would help attain SDGs 3 and 9.
Osinbajo, represented by the Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Mrs Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, commended Alpha Mead for the initiative.
“I applaud Alpha Mead Healthcare Management Services Limited for harnessing its scientific and technological expertise to make this Modular Healthcare Facility, a solution available for use in the country. It will go a long way in supporting our journey towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development,” he said.
Professor Osinbajo added that the MHF has “appropriately captured SDG Goal 9, which aims at building resilient infrastructure, promote industrialisation, and foster innovations across sectors including health, innovation, infrastructure, and new skills in technology development.”
The VP further noted that the MHF would drive SDG 3 and one of its targets of achieving universal health coverage in low and mediumincome countries. He urged other private sector players to emulate Alpha Mead, reiterating that the MHF would complement the government’s efforts at transforming medical care.
MHF can be used in Camps and Emergency
Response Centres. For instance, IDP camps, military base, construction as well as emergency response centres can be good locations for the facility. Its modular nature makes it moveable to other locations as soon as the camp closes or the operation winds down. It can also be used by government and NGOs to compliment and accelerate the penetration of Primary Healthcare Centres, PHCs. Rather than lose time to construction and commission of PHCs, the MHF can serve as a plug and play option. It can be operational in 30days. The MHF can serve as the diagnostic and laboratory facility of General, Teaching, or Private Hospitals that lack the necessary equipment.
The Chairman, Alpha Mead Group, Mr. Mutiu Sunmonu (CON), affirmed the firm’s commitment to providing quality healthcare in Nigeria at the MHF launch in Lagos.
“A product that accelerates access, addresses manpower shortages, leverages technology and can be rolled out on a massive scale is what our health sector needs. We are happy to be leading this innovation. The MHF is more than a healthcare facility. It is also an entrepreneurial package capable of serving both social and economic purposes by creating jobs and business opportunities for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, professional health workers, and support staff.”
His views were also mirrored by the Managing Director of Alpha Mead Group, Engr. Femi Akintunde. “Our focus is to inject our internationally certified processes and systems into the health sector to improve the administration of healthcare in Nigeria.”