The spate of drug abuse, poor diagnosis and lack of access to quality healthcare among Nigerians leave much to be desired. Today, it is no longer news that most Nigerian youths have taken to drug addiction while self medications have become the order of the day in almost every home. According to experts, these have resulted to untimely deaths of individuals and severe medical complications in many. Worse still, the non availability of health information has almost made it impossible to prevent even the commonest disease.
However, in what seems like a rescue mission to improve the quality of health care in Nigeria by working within the core principles of primary health care as recommended by the World Health Organisation, INVIVO Health & Beauty stores introduced a one-stop destination for all health and beauty needs with over 10,000 Nigerians treated free of charge within one year in its three stores located in Lagos, Abuja and Ibadan.
Speaking during a tour of its facilities in Lagos and Ibadan, the Director, Mr. John Onyeoguzoro, who disclosed that plans are underway to have 500 stores across Nigeria said the goal of the company is to treat 2,500,000 Nigerians free of charge annually.
“Already two more outlets are currently in the pipeline and these will run a pharmacy and treatment room with a resident doctor offering free consultations on daily basis.”
Onyeoguzoro noted that INVIVO, a subsidiary of Smartmark Limited, was established to address social problems such as lack of easy access to primary healthcare; the menace of counterfeit and fake dugs; self-medication; and lack of early diagnosis of potentially fatal disease conditions.
According to him, in line with the company’s objectives, INVIVO is determined as a patient-centred and health focused business, to support the government towards achieving its primary healthcare goals.
He said the free health check facility in all INVIVO stores allows patients to walk-in; get their vitals checked and a resident doctor or nurse to consult free of charge.
“Health is one of the basic rights of life, but unfortunately a lot of Nigerians don’t have access to it.”
The Deputy Managing Director explained that the organization is managed by seasoned professionals who have spent years of their careers in the pharmaceutical sector and understands where gaps exist and to offer solutions.
Narrating their experiences since inception in 2014, he noted that the incidence of drug abuse is on the rise among young people. “There was a time a young boy came here to ask for codeine based cough & cold syrup. We walked him out because he didn’t come with prescription, because they are regulated products and subject to abuse.
Also lending his voice, the Founder of INVIVO Pharmacy, Mr. Yakubu Gobir, disclosed that no fewer than 3,000 patients have been treated free of charge in the last 10 months.
He explained that the clinic offers free medical consultancy, partnership with Metro eye for free eye checkups and glaucoma screening, free HIV/Hepatitis B screening, screening for Cervical PAP Smear, Mammography, as well as prostrate screening.
Continuing, he noted that the clinic also collaborates with Ibadan South West Local Government Primary Health Care Department to provide free immunization for children aged 0-59 months and offer vaccination for Hepatitis B at a reduced price.
Stressing on the importance of health promotion, Gobir hinted that the clinic was into preventive, health promotion services and awareness on tests available for each age group and sex.
“Reproductive, maternal and child services are also available with counselling and information are given on family planning and contraceptive use. Body mass index calculation and weight management counseling are also given with subsequent follow-up of high risk obesity patients for cardiovascular risk assessment for all customers.”
On commonest illness seen among customers, he said High Blood Pressure, HBP, was on the increase and to check the trend, the clinic is following up on such patients to prevent further complications and ensure that their drugs are taken appropriately.