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Harnessing Digital Solutions for Healthcare Challenges in Nigeria

Access health insights with the Dechi HTF - REAN Chat Assistant
Africa is currently facing a concerning rise in mortality rates attributed to both communicable and non-communicable diseases. This alarming trend is also evident in Nigeria as a result of inadequate healthcare infrastructure coupled with a lack of awareness.
Malaria is a major public health concern in Nigeria, with an estimated 68 million cases and 194,000 deaths due to the disease in 2021. It accounts for nearly 27% of the global malaria burden.
Source:
https://www.afro.who.int/countries/nigeria/publication/report-malaria-nigeria-2022
The World Health Organization reported that the probability of premature death from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Nigeria is 20%. The same report also indicated that cardiovascular risk factors in the population were the highest at 34.8%.
Source:
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5598443/

Factors Leading To The Health Crisis

The mortality rate across four major NCDs (Cardiovascular Disease, Chronic Respiratory Disease, Cancer and Diabetes) was 565 per 100,000 in males and 546 in females in 2021. The high number of people suffering from these conditions is linked to demographic and societal shifts, globalisation, urbanisation, and the embrace of unhealthy habits such as consuming an unbalanced diet and engaging in insufficient physical activity.

Communicable diseases still account for the highest proportion of disease burden in the country, with the leading causes related to HIV/AIDS, malaria and TB.
Nigeria has the highest burden of malaria globally, accounting for nearly 27% of the global malaria burden.
Factors contributing to this health crisis include poor hygiene and sanitation, inadequate healthcare infrastructure, limited access to healthcare services, and a lack of awareness regarding preventive measures.

The Solution

Technology-based solutions are the key to bridging the health equity gap and improving health outcomes. With this vision, Dechi HTF and REAN Foundation have jointly developed a WhatsApp-based chat assistant - ChecheConnect. This chat assistant will help you to understand the causes and symptoms of illnesses. It helps not just to prevent these diseases but also provides insights to manage existing chronic conditions more effectively. The focus areas of the chat assistant are Hypertension, Diabetes and Malaria.

The assistant aids in maintaining good health by:

Answering questions in local language to identify the causes and symptoms of Malaria
Helping to understand how unhealthy habits like smoking and an inactive lifestyle could lead to conditions such as Hypertension and Diabetes
Providing guidance through text or voice chat to manage Diabetes, Hypertension and Malaria
Sharing information and dispelling myths about nutrition and physical activity to prevent or delay the onset of Diabetes and Hypertension

For remote rural communities where the Dechi Health Trust Fund operates, the most difficult challenge in addressing health problems is the availability of qualified health professionals. Since solving this challenge is proving difficult due to the unavailability of qualified health professionals, the next best thing is their knowledge. Through Cheche Connect, we are making this a reality while working to address the health workforce shortage in remote rural communities.

Dechi-HTF Team

ChecheConnect

ChecheConnect is a trusted partner that is focused on advancing Nigerian community health, fostering awareness and knowledge to prevent and manage health conditions effectively.

Download the assistant and start your health chat now.
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