For those unfamiliar, Africa and South Africa itself have come a long way in terms of the development of pharmacy retail and healthcare services altogether. Whether you are a resident of South Africa or a tourist, seeking healthcare is no longer as challenging as it once was, especially with the development of pharmacy retail in Africa partly thanks to Health Plus.
A Country of Imports
Unfortunately, Africa and South Africa have been regions of imported products for far too long. In 2007, a bill named New Partnership for Africa’s Development was introduced. This bill initially sought to help Africa become more independent on their own products (as at the time, nearly 80% of all products were imported into Africa). Because of the high rate of imported products, this was ultimately deemed unsustainable for those living in and around the regions themselves.
A Fragmented Market
Although Africa is projected to have one of the world’s fastest-growing pharmaceutical markets in the near future, the market itself is still quite fragmented (although it is coming together at a rapid pace). HealthPlus explains, “Today, we have a network of 60 stores in 11 states and the Federal Capital Territory, as well as an e-commerce website. HealthPlus has become a household name in Nigeria and beyond.”
Where it was once difficult to seek out a doctor or proper medication for a particular ailment, medicine is becoming increasingly accessible to those who are in need of it the most.
Retailers as a Point-of-Care
When you think of any retailer, you likely think of generating sales and, ultimately, revenue. However, with the expansion of the pharmaceutical market throughout Africa, retailers are no longer simply being used as “point-of-sale” locations, but are also being integrated as “point-of-care” solutions.
Because studies have shown that approximately 50-60% of all patients first seek out local drug stores, outlets, or caretakers as their first line of care, integrating points-of-care into retail pharmacies is a major initiative for those working and living in Africa.
HealthPlus is committed to the initiative that servicing clients with retailers as a point-of-care can significantly reduce serious and life-threatening conditions.
“We now have 24-hour pharmacies. Our delivery service is a lifesaver for many, especially convalescents and the elderly.”
Micro-Clinics in Rural Areas
Many areas of Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa are extremely rural, making it difficult for individuals of all ages to obtain proper medical care when they are in need. With the expansion of micro-clinics across various regions throughout Africa, more individuals than ever have access to clinics, shops, and medicines they need to make a full recovery.
The Expansion of Telemedicine
Another factor to consider when reviewing the current state of healthcare in Africa is the growing expansion of Telemedicine. The use of telemedicine is vital for the future of not only African citizens, but global citizens around the world. Telemedicine is extremely valuable, especially as approximately 51% of all individuals living in South Africa report owning a smartphone, while another 40% report owning at least a basic mobile phone.
Integrating telemedicine throughout local clinics and major hospitals can streamline the healthcare citizens of Africa need and deserve. Some of the most notable benefits of introducing telemedicine include:
- Streamline waiting times: Avoid long lines and unexpected patients with the ability to set appointments digitally and set virtual visits accordingly.
- Save loss of time: For patients who are in dire need of an antibiotic or to be seen by a medical professional urgently, telemedicine is ideal (especially in rural areas throughout Africa). For some patients, time is of the essence when it comes to staying healthy and, in some cases, even alive.
- Saving money on transportation and loss of work: With the ability to access telemedicine solutions, those who live and work in Africa will not need to risk their jobs or overpay on transportation just to see a healthcare professional.
- Attend appointments that cannot be attended in person: If a patient is elderly, disabled, or even dealing with a terminal illness, they may not have the ability to seek transportation to a local medical facility. With telemedicine, it is now possible to connect with a doctor or medical professional with the use of a smartphone and a click of a button.
- Extensive access to care: For those who may require a specialist or specific lab work, telemedicine works best. Telemedicine provides access to hundreds, if not thousands of doctors, specialists, and medical professionals who can help connect you with the care provider you require for your individualized needs.
- Access to physicians outside of your network: Living in a rural area such as Africa can be extremely limiting when it comes to choosing a physician. Telemedicine opens new doors of opportunity to connect with healthcare providers and specialists you need that are even outside of your current network and/or region.
HealthPlus pharmacies, also known as HealthPlus Limited, is an up-and-coming leader in wellness, beauty, and pharmacy services. With high-quality healthcare products and pharmacy services which add exceptional value, HealthPlus focuses on incredible customer service to uphold its industry reputation. All healthcare professionals serving clients are certified and extremely qualified to contribute. Hygienic facilities and an e-pharmacy with a corresponding app, make HealthPlus the first choice in Nigeria for healthcare needs.