Health  

Sanofi, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos inaugurate diabetes, hypertension clinic


To help address the growing incidence of diabetes and hypertension in Nigeria, multinational healthcare company, Sanofi, and the Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, on September 17 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 (MoU) between the two organizations 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 caregivers.

She however noted that access to quality care at the primary care level remained a critical gap in the overall drive towards universal health coverage. Odeniran further informed that under the Diabetes Hypertension Clinic (DHC) initiative, Sanofi is helping to bridge the gap through public-private partnerships to establish Centres of Excellence in the management of diabetes and hypertension. As parts of its objectives, the DHC will empower the general population and patients with the right disease information and equip healthcare practitioners with necessary capacity to effectively manage the diseases.

Odediran further stated: “I want to note that this is the first DHC established under this initiative. In setting up this Centre 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.”

Giving an overview of the project, the Medical Director, Sanofi-Aventis Nigeria Limited, 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. Describing the two conditions as silent killers, Ikeme said that many people are not aware they have the diseases and many report too late to hospitals when complications have already set in.

He disclosed that the initiative would help address the gap at all levels of care, adding that the project has been designed to build capacity and empower health workers.According to him, in addition to rendering assistance in specific management areas of the two conditions, the company would facilitate the training of all cadres of health workers in the clinic to be able to provide the specialized services it is designed to render.

While welcoming the Sanofi team and guests to the event 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.

The Vicar General & Vice Chairman of the Board, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, the Right Rev. Monsignor John Aniagwu, who led delegation from the Archdiocese also noted that diabetes and hypertension are indeed silent killers which deserve urgent collaboration between governments and all stakeholders. He thanked Sanofi for the initiative and pledged that the hospital would implement the project in line with the high standard associated with the Catholics health facilities.

“We recognize that there are other facilities in the country but you chose this one. We will not let you down. You will be happy and proud that you chose to work with us,” Monsignor Aniagwu assured the Sanofi officials.The Clinic was declared open by Monsignor Aniagwu with a guided tour of the facilities conducted by the Health Coordinator, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Rev Sister Theresa Afareha and the Director of Administration of the hospital, Rev Sister Hyacentha Ihedike.

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