Sanofi, Catholic Partner to Address Diabetes, Hypertension in Nigeria

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L-R: Chaplain, St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital, Ijede (SRDMSH), Rev. Fr. Joe Ben Onyia; Vicar General, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Monsignor John Aniagwu; General Manager, Sanofi Aventis, Nigeria-Ghana, Folake Odediran; Coordinator, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev. Sister Theresa Afareha; and Medical Director, Sanofi Nigeria-Ghana, Dr. Philip Ikeme, at the inauguration of Diabetes and Hypertension Clinic at SRDMSH in Lagos recently

Martins Ifijeh

To help address the growing incidence of diabetes and hypertension in Nigeria, multinational healthcare company, Sanofi, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos has recently entered into an agreement to provide specialized care in the effective management of the two diseases in Ijede community, an Ikorodu suburb in Lagos state.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the two organisations also marked the take-off of a state-of-the-art Diabetes and Hypertension Clinic at St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital Ijede supported by Sanofi. The clinic is expected to provide quality affordable care for diabetes and hypertension patients in the hospital.

Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony and inauguration of the clinic, the company’s General Manager, Folake Odediran, expressed delight at the inauguration of the clinic, which she described as an example of the many ways that Sanofi works passionately everyday to understand and solve the needs of the people where it operates.

She described diabetes and hypertension as major public health concerns because they impose significant economic burdens on governments, patients and care-givers, adding that under the DHC initiative, Sanofi is helping to bridge the gap through public-private partnerships to establish Centers of Excellence in the management of diabetes and hypertension.

Odediran further stated: “In setting up this Center of Excellence, Sanofi has supported the re-training of 40 healthcare practitioners of this hospital including doctors, pharmacists, nurses, ophthalmologists and laboratory scientists. We are optimistic that this will enable them to deliver good quality of care to their patients.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos for the implementation of the pilot DHC Project at St Raphael’s Divine Mercy Specialists Hospitals, Ijede. This institution meets all eligibility criteria as a Center of Excellence in diabetes and hypertension care,” she concluded.

Giving an overview of the project, the Medical Director, Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria Ltd, Dr. Philip Ikeme noted that the DHC initiative was borne out of the emerging alarming statistics of diabetes and hypertension in the country and the need to support efforts to address the gaps.

The Chaplain, Divine Mercy Catholic Chaplaincy, Ikorodu, Rev Father Joe Ben Onyia described the DHC as an access-to-healthcare initiative and has the approval of the Archbishop and Board Chairman, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Dr. Alfred Adewale Martins, to be implemented in the hospital.

“As these diseases are amongst the chief causes of mortality in Nigeria and our Ikorodu environs, it goes to show why we are so happy that with this clinic being inaugurated today, so many lives will be saved,” he said.