Improving Life Expectancy for Nigerians

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Living up to its purpose of improving life expectancy in Africa, the St. Racheal Pharmacy has continued to lead the pace of providing innovative medical solutions to Nigeria, and by extension, Africa, with the launch of a new antibiotic, the first in of its kind in Nigeria. Sunday Ehigiator reports

Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time an organism is expected to live based on the year of its birth, its current age and other demographic factors, including gender.

According to the latest figures from the 2019 World Population Review, an average Nigerian’s life expectancy is about 55 years. On specifics, the new report showed that the average life expectancy of Nigerians was 54.494 years.

But a breakdown showed that women are expected to live longer than their male counterparts at 55.414 years against 53.6 years for men. The 2019 review ranked Nigeria 198th out of 202 countries studied, affirming it as a country with the third lowest life expectancy rate.

It was against this backdrop that St. Racheal Pharmacy fashioned the theme of her anniversary, to examine ways in which life expectancy rate of Nigerians can be improved upon, and recommend same to Nigerians alike.

In his welcome address, the Chairman / CEO, St. Racheal Pharmacy, Mr. Akinjide Adeosun, related the theme of the anniversary to the organisation’s purpose, and inspiration behind its establishment.

According to him, the name ‘St. Racheal’ was derived out of need to immortalise his late grandmother, named Racheal, who passed on to glory after attaining the age of 94 years.

He said, “Our matriarch passed on in 2014 at the age of 95 years. Mama’s evidenced long life was possible and it is still possible in Nigeria. She benefited from world class medical care and she was a disciplinarian of healthy living.”

Speaking on the current life expectancy of Nigerians, Adeosun said he was “encouraged that the life expectancy for men has improved from 53 years in 2015 to 55 years in 2016 whilst the life expectancy for women remained flat at 56 years according to the WHO. These figures are appalling when compared with developed countries.”

Speaking on the launch of the new antibiotics, Adeosun assured medical practitioners, some of who also participated in the ceremony via zoom connection, that “the brand promises to give you peace of mind in your daily practice.

“It is a top-quality produced by Medreich Limited; our manufacturer produces for many multinational organisations throughout the world, and sold at affordable price in observance of our mission.

“Two years ago, we commenced a 20 year journey into living our purpose on the continent of Africa starting from Nigeria. This journey will see us launch into many markets on the continent, expand our offering from our core base of Antibiotics into brands that will supplement Life & brands that will prevent diseases.

“The theme is in resonance with our mission to improve life expectancy by providing top quality affordable pharmaceuticals in Africa. We are celebrating because we have moved from a base of 0 brands to seven NAFDAC approved brands today, just within two years.

“St. Racheal’s Ampicillin/Cloxacillin 500mg Capsules 10×10, St. Racheal’s Ampicillin/Cloxacillin 500mg Capsules 2×10, St. Racheal’s Amoxicillin / Clavulanic Acid 625mg Tablets 2×7, and St. Racheal’s Cefuroxime 250mg Tablets1x10”.

Others are, “St. Racheal’s Cefixime 400mg tablets 1×10, St. Racheal’s Artemether 80mg+Lumefantrine 480mg Tablets 1×6, and St. Racheal’s Azithromycin 500mg Tablet 1×3.

“We also believe our mission will be made easier if we strengthen the capability of today’s leaders and mentor tomorrow’s leaders to execute sound leadership around Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’S) 3 and 4, Good Health & Well-being and Quality Education,” he said.

Speaking on the anniversary team, the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Banigo said, low life expectancy in Nigeria can be “attributed to challenges in the area of health; inadequate and unequipped health facility.

“We also have social problems, infrastructure problems, poor and inadequate portable safe water supply, poor states of our roads, poor housing and rental challenges, amidst other economic variable; inequitable distribution of income has wiped out the middle class in our society.

“This has also added to high level of unemployment. And especially when it comes to youth not employed, they will place a huge danger to the society. Also Nigerians are said to be contending with a lot of issues, a lot of stress, ranging from students schools fees, house rent, electricity bills, medical bills, generators and parts repairs, powering and fueling, feeding the family, and clothing of families.

“Also is the huge numbers of demands, siblings demands, vigilante bills, work stress, police stress on the road, variable stress, kidnappers fears, armed robbery fears, and all these are adding to our low rate of life expectancy.”

She however recommended that for Nigeria to have a way forward and improve on its life expectancy there is an urgent need for collaboration with all sectors to improve on all of these things. “Our government has a critical role to create a conducive environment for businesses to thrive, and ensure the sustainability of the ease of doing business in all sector of our economy.

“It must address the numerous challenges breaking the health sector in terms of facility, equipment, man power, and also curtailing preventable and avoidable diseases. Also, government needs to improve on budgetary allocations to the health sector, and take measures to control population growth.

“A situation where we have a population growth increase which is higher than our GDP is not sustainable. Hence we need to educate our people, and educate the women on birth control.

“The private players should continually provide innovative and relevant services aimed at improving good standards and purpose, and therefore contribute to an improved life expectancy rate.”

She added that media was also very key to changing the narrative. “They are the ones that will bring this into the public discuss all the time. To keep the issues of unacceptable low life expectancy in our country in the front burner, media should disseminate at all times, quality and relevant information to equip the people, and also interrogate the activities of government and the service providers in taking appropriate actions to improve the leaving standards for the purpose.”

In her short goodwill message, the First Lady of Oyo State, Tamunominini Makinde described the organisation as a family.

“I want to thank everyone for being here. For me, ST Rachael is my family. Health is life and we must all take the issues of our health very seriously. We must learn to live and eat healthily.

“I celebrate St Rachael Pharmacy on this great occasion of her two years anniversary, and launch of a new product. I have no doubt in my heart that you will continue to do exploit and transform the medical sector for the better in nearest future,” she said.

Sharing secretes of improving life expectancy while making examples out of his own lifestyle, Papa Patrick Amaechi, advised Nigerians to “always eat healthy, keep fit in moderation, and cultivate a disciplined attitude towards healthy living”.

He also encouraged Nigerian to cultivate the attitude of going for regular checkups “at least an annual checkup. This will enable you to know your health status. Eat a lot of fiber food, and avoid red meat as much as possible”.

The high point of the occasion was the conferment of the ‘Professional Excellence Award’ on Reddington Hospital Group, Health Plus and Prime Medical Consultant, for their leadership roles towards providing affordable and innovative health care services to Nigerians across the country, and Africans.