November 27, 2022

Helium Health Expands Footprint to Qatar | Business Post Nigeria – Business Post Nigeria

  • November 12, 2021
  • 11 min read
Helium Health Expands Footprint to Qatar | Business Post Nigeria – Business Post Nigeria

By Adedapo Adesanya
As part of its expansion plans, Nigerian health tech startup, Helium Health, has announced the acquisition of Meddy, a doctor booking platform in Qatar.
With this deal, Meddy’s CEO, Mr Haris Aghadi, and the COO, Mr Abed Alkarim Khattab, will join Helium Health’s leadership team and the Qatar business would now be known as Helium Doc.
This has been regarded as a rare partnership between West African startups and Middle Eastern startups.
However, Mr Adegoke Olubusi, Helium Health’s CEO, revealed that the cultural similarity of the two teams was key in the transaction.
“Beyond the actual product and market opportunity, what made this possible was really the composition of the team, how well they executed the fact that they share a DNA and culture that’s very similar to ours,” he said.
Founded by Mr Olubusi, Dimeji Sofowora, and Tito Ovia, Helium Health provides a suite of services for its healthcare clients. These services include an electronic medical records solution, HeliumPay, a billing and payment solution, a collateral-free loan product, HeliumCredit, and HeliumDoc.
Since its inception, the company has established a presence in six African countries, helping over 5,000 health professionals to serve about 165,000 patients monthly.
This is not its first expansion this year as Helium Health had already expanded to Kenya.
At the time of its Series A raise in 2020, it hinted at plans to expand into East and North Africa. While it has not yet expanded into North Africa, its foray into the Middle East presents it with an opportunity to tap into Meddy’s reach in the region.
The startup has reportedly facilitated over 200,000 doctor appointments and helped healthcare providers generate approximately $130 million in billings.
Helium Health is well-known for its core electronic medical records (EMR) and hospital management solutions in Africa. But it has since evolved to offer other services under its platform, including HeliumPay, a billing and payments solution; a collateral-free loan product, HeliumCredit; patient-provider and revenue cycle management service HeliumDoc; and data analytics services.
With a presence in six African countries — Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal, Liberia, Kenya and Uganda — Helium Health has signed more than 500 healthcare facilities. Over 7,000 medical professionals from these facilities now provide care to more than 300,000 patients monthly.
Africans with Diabetes Face Higher Rate of COVID-19
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Adedapo Adesanya is a journalist, polymath, and connoisseur of everything art. When he is not writing, he has his nose buried in one of the many books or articles he has bookmarked or simply listening to good music with a bottle of beer or wine. He supports the greatest club in the world, Manchester United F.C.
Helium Health Extends Footprint to Kenyan Market
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By Adedapo Adesanya
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has said that Africa’s death rates from COVID-19 infections are significantly higher in patients with diabetes, according to a preliminary analysis.
At a presentation on Thursday, the global health watchdog said that Africa’s sharp increase in diabetes was clashing with the COVID-19 pandemic and poor access to vaccines.
According to Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa, “COVID-19 is delivering a clear message: fighting the diabetes epidemic in Africa is in many ways as critical as the battle against the current pandemic.
“The COVID-19 pandemic will eventually subside, but Africa is projected in the coming years to experience the highest increase in diabetes globally. We must act now to prevent new cases, vaccinate people who have this condition and, equally importantly, identify and support the millions of Africans unaware they are suffering from this silent killer.”
Diabetes impairs the body’s ability to produce or process insulin, a substance essential to counteracting a dangerous rise in blood sugar. The disease causes inflammation and poor blood circulation, both of which increase the risk of complications, including death, from COVID-19.
A recent WHO analysis evaluated data from 13 countries on underlying conditions or comorbidities in Africans who tested positive for COVID-19. It revealed a 10.2 per cent case fatality rate in patients with diabetes, compared with 2.5 per cent for COVID-19 patients overall.
The case fatality rate for people with diabetes was also twice as high as the fatality rate among patients suffering from any comorbidity. In addition to people with diabetes, the three most frequent underlying conditions included patients with HIV and hypertension.
The countries contributing data to the analysis were Burkina Faso, Chad, Cote d’Ivoire, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Eswatini, Guinea, Namibia, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Sao Tome and Principe and Uganda.
In a statement, WHO revealed that an estimated 24 million people are living with diabetes in Africa in 2021 citing data from the International Diabetes Federation and the continent is expected to experience the highest increase in diabetes globally, with the number of Africans suffering from the disease predicted to rise to 55 million by 2045, an increase of 134 per cent compared with 2021.
It noted that Africa is the region with the highest number of people who do not know their diagnosis – an estimated 70 per cent of people with diabetes do not know they have the disease.
On his part, Dr Benido Impouma, Director, Communicable and Noncommunicable Diseases Cluster at WHO Regional Office for Africa added that since the early days of the pandemic, people with diabetes in countries around the world have been prioritized to receive COVID-19 vaccinations but Africa has faced challenges in this strategy.
“Health officials in Africa should take advantage of the growing availability of low-cost rapid diagnostic tests to routinely test patients in diabetes centres to ensure early detection and proper care. These centres also can be key venues for vaccination.”
Speaking further, Dr Moeti noted that, “Nine months since COVID-19 vaccination campaigns began in Africa, we are still nowhere near where we need to be with protecting our most vulnerable.
“There is an urgent need to step up vaccination and other key services to people at high risk, including those with diabetes.
“All Africans at risk of diabetes must have access to testing. We can also stop diabetes from claiming more lives by promoting healthy, affordable diets and regular exercise.”
In addition to COVID-19 risks, diabetes can also increase the risk of heart attack, stroke, kidney failure, lower limb amputation, visual impairment, blindness and nerve damage, including erectile dysfunction.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, access to diabetes care has been severely disrupted in the African Region. Lockdowns to limit the spread of COVID-19, for example, have impeded access to health care and the basic elements of proper disease management, such as routine glucose monitoring and eating a healthy diet.
To improve equitable access to quality diabetes care, WHO launched the Global Diabetes Compact in April 2021. This builds on work in recent years to roll out the WHO Package of Essential Noncommunicable Disease (WHO PEN) interventions for primary health care in low-resource settings.
So far, 21 African countries have started using this package. Benin, Eritrea, Eswatini, Lesotho and Togo have achieved national expansion covering all primary health care facilities.
By Sodeinde Temidayo David
The Lagos State government has announced plans to sponsor the surgeries of patients who need to treat deformities by the physical removal, repair, or readjustment of their limbs.
This would be done through the state-sponsored Free Limb Deformity Corrective Surgery and Rehabilitative Programme.
According to the state government, more than 400 people have been targeted to benefit from the free limb deformity surgeries, which is an intervention targeted at rehabilitating people, especially children with lower limb deformities such as rickets or Blount disease and other lower limb deformities that affect their normal growth and function.
The Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, Mr Olusegun Ogboye, noted that the current phase of the exercise has recorded over 400 potential beneficiaries, who would be screened over two days while appropriate medical examinations were conducted.
He also mentioned that during the current phase, 80 children would benefit from corrective surgical intervention, just as others would be offered physiotherapy, nutrition and health education, as well as assistive mobility devices that would improve their health.
The senior government official added that a team of specialists would review their examination results, and those that qualified for surgery would be booked for surgical intervention within the next 10 days.
According to him, the process will be at no cost to the patients, and that patients would be offered surgery and kept overnight for observation.
“The process involves a screening where surgeons examine patients and select those eligible to benefit from surgery and others that may benefit from assistive devices and other forms of physical rehabilitation.
“Those who pre-qualify for surgery will then go through a series of diagnostic investigations, including x-rays and blood tests to check for the form of the bone malformation, calcium levels and other basic parameters,” he said during his visit to the screening site for the latest batch of beneficiaries at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
He said treatments would be supervised by a team of orthopaedic surgeons, anaesthetists, nurses, and other health professionals and after discharge, patients will come for follow-up visits at the clinic, and then also go through physiotherapy to ensure we get the best outcomes.
By Dipo Olowookere
At least two international fitness stars will grace the grand finale of the Verve Life 4.0 fitness and wellness event slated for Saturday, November 6, 2021, at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, the organisers have confirmed.
Business Post gathered that these two renowned and accomplished fitness experts are Queen Fitness from South Africa and Alvin Lee from Kenya. They will be joining some of Nigeria’s finest fitness experts such as Kemen, Ihuoma Nwigwe, Isoken Uwaifo etc.
This year’s event tagged Fit to Live conforms to the brand’s ideal of supporting a healthy lifestyle while also providing innovative payment solutions to their cardholders and Nigerians.
Previous Verve Life events were held exclusively in Lagos; however, this year’s event was more inclusive as the brand organised satellite events across the country in cities including Ibadan, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Asaba, and Lagos.
Participants at the satellite events were treated to stress-relieving, fun and fitness exercises, they also had masterclasses on boxing, dance, yoga among others.
The Verve Life initiative is a testament to the brand’s long-term commitment to fitness, wellness and healthy living, the Chief Marketing and Communication Officer at Interswitch Group, Ms Cherry Eromosele, said.
According to her, Verve cardholders and Nigerians were treated to invigorating exercises, hosted by well-known fitness trainers, during the Verve Life 4.0 satellite events held across the select cities in the country.
“In culmination of all the events for this year’s edition of Verve Life, I am extremely pleased to announce the grand finale event which will hold on Saturday, November 6, 2021, at the Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island, with activities that reflect the intention of the Verve Life,” she stated.
Ms Eromosele further said “the grand finale event is planned to be the best we have hosted yet. Exercises and fitness sessions will be facilitated by celebrity fitness experts. Participants will be able to enrich their lifestyles from masterclasses on fitness, mental and general health tips, life hacks, beauty, fashion etc. There will be entertainment from renowned musical acts such as Alternate Sound.”
She pointed out that “beyond providing secure and innovative payment solutions to Verve cardholders, we understand that they have other lifestyle aspirations, hence, we are actively supporting their identified passion point by creating engaging brand experiences for them.”
The Verve Life fitness event is a perennial event put together by the leading payment technology and card business company in Africa to stimulate Nigerians on the need to keep a healthy lifestyle through fun and engaging activities.
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