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How to Take Control of Your Health and Well-being With Small, Easy Steps



SweepSouth take control of your health

It’s the middle of the rainy season, so colds and flu are in full swing, and with people starting to not wear masks while out in public, we could potentially be exposed to more germs than we would be if everyone were wearing masks. If there was ever a time to take control of your health, it would be now. And there are various ways to do that just by making small changes in your life and home.

Don’t forget the dust traps

There are many spaces in your home that are massive dust traps and prime spots for germs to breed in. You might not want to think about it, but your sheets, pillows and PJs can be full of dead skin cells, unwanted germs, and tiny dust mites that increase your risk of suffering from allergies, hay fever, and asthma. If anyone in your family suffers from hayfever or allergies, try to keep your house as dust-free as possible, advises Awazi Angbalaga, Country Manager of home-cleaning service, SweepSouth Nigeria.

Carpets and rugs attract a lot of dust and dirt, so be sure to clean these regularly. Even air pollutants like pollen, fungi and cigarette smoke get trapped in carpet fibres and can trigger allergies and eczema attacks, so vacuum carpets and rugs at least twice a week, and more in high traffic areas. Consider hiring a service like SweepSouth, which will provide a home cleaner to help tackle hard-to-reach areas, like under couches, behind fridges, and the top of curtain pelmets. Angbalaga suggests that a good cleaning tip is to set a vacuum cleaner on a low setting to give curtains a quick once over to remove dust, while a clothes steamer can be used on curtains to refresh them.

Eat seasonal vegetables

Fruits and vegetables that are stored for a long period of time while being transported lose high amounts of nutritional value. This is why eating in-season fruits and vegetables are better for your health.

Chef Norman Heath of Radisson Blu Hotel Waterfront agrees: “In-season fresh produce is nutrient dense and it also tastes better than anything that gets imported. Not only that, but it’s better for the environment, too, which works out better for everyone’s health in the long run.

“And, you will be supporting local farms, local markets and local employment, all with this one choice to buy in-season,” he adds.

Breathe it out

Meditation and deep breathing are something everyone can easily implement for their health. It reduces stress which, in turn, has endless benefits for your overall health. Stress suppresses your immune system and increases blood pressure, among other things.

Calm your mind by deep breathing, with longer exhales than inhales for a few minutes. Follow it by focusing on relaxing every part of your body, releasing tension as you go. You can do this whenever you’re feeling stressed, but it’s also a highly effective way to help you fall asleep at night.

Invest in a good mattress

Getting a good night’s rest should be high on our agenda for a healthy lifestyle, and an important part of achieving this is having a comfortable mattress. A good mattress supports your whole body as you sleep, keeping your spine in a neutral position You wouldn’t run a race without the right shoes, or climb a mountain without the correct gear, yet despite the fact that we spend up to a third of the day sleeping, we often don’t consider how an old mattress, or one that isn’t offering adequate support, is affecting our quality of sleep.

With so many different types of beds to choose from, do research when choosing the bed that’s right for you. If you suffer from back pain or allergies, for example, a foam or latex mattress might be your best bet, or perhaps a soft mattress doesn’t give you the adequate support, in which case a medium-to-firm mattress would be more comfortable.

Check your family’s medical history

Maintain and protect your health in the long run by finding out if any serious health conditions run in your family. An especially important one to know is whether there is a history of blood clots, says Dr Helen Okoye of the World Thrombosis Day Steering Committee. Worldwide, more people succumb to the life-threatening conditions caused by thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot in blood vessels, than the total number of people who lose their lives to AIDS, breast cancer, and car crashes combined, every year.

You’re more likely to develop blood clots if you have family members who have had dangerous blood clots. This is because inherited causes of blood clots are linked to your genetics. People with a family history of life-threatening blood clots tend to develop thrombosis before the age of 45, although it is not very common. If you are aware of this pattern in your family, Dr Okoye advises that you let your doctor know about it so they can make informed medical decisions any time you visit the hospital with an ailment. Knowing this also allows you to make the necessary lifestyle and dietary adjustments to avoid the problem.

Make time for fun and spend time with your loved ones

A story published by Time notes that social isolation can have severe effects on your mental and physical health. The sense of isolation and loneliness can lead to depression, anxiety and less movement, which is bad for your health.

The same article goes on to say that “A robust social life can lower stress levels; improve mood; encourage positive health behaviours and discourage damaging ones; boost cardiovascular health; improve illness recovery rates and aid virtually everything in between. Research has even shown that a social component can boost the effects of already-healthy behaviours such as exercise”.

Bottom line – meet up with the people who bring you joy. Saturday 30 July is International Friendship Day, so make work of planning a dinner or going on a fun outing with friends to celebrate!

The old saying that your health is your greatest wealth is sage advice. When you’re feeling healthy you’re more confident, more productive and have a far greater ability to experience life richly.

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Stanbic IBTC Pushes for Innovative Financing Solutions for Healthcare



innovative financing solutions

By Modupe Gbadeyanka

The healthcare industry in Nigeria can compete with others in advanced countries if stakeholders work together to create innovative financing solutions.

The Head of Specialised Sectors at Stanbic IBTC Bank, Ms Jane Ike-Okoli, said the market is big enough to attract more investors.

A few days ago, Business Post reported that a global research firm, Agusto & Co, projected that an increased foreign interest would drive growth in Nigeria’s healthcare system, especially through the acquisition and establishment of health facilities in the medium term, helping to bridge the healthcare infrastructure deficit estimated at $82 million.

For Ms Ike-Okoli, this goal can be achieved as Nigeria is Africa’s largest healthcare market. She said the country only needs an effective collaboration among stakeholders to boost the sector.

Speaking during the panel session at the Medic West Africa Conference, Ms Ike-Okoli argued that effective collaboration between the financial industry and healthcare organisations was key to advancing Nigeria’s health sector.

She also mentioned that the sector is yearning for innovative financing solutions to address the nuances of lending to healthcare businesses.

“Nigeria is Africa’s largest healthcare market, and despite this, we have inadequate healthcare infrastructure, which gives rise to weakened health systems.

“It is in response to this that Stanbic IBTC has decided to partner with key players in the healthcare sector to improve access to healthcare finance and provide robust yet flexible funding options for healthcare businesses and providers.

“Our healthcare solutions are tailor-made for players in the sector who need working capital to expand healthcare operations, acquire medical equipment, facilitate medical research, and grow their healthcare businesses.

“One of such solutions is the recently launched unsecured short-term loan with a 12-month tenor, which is aimed at directly supporting providers with funds to improve their offerings and, by extension, grow the healthcare sector in Nigeria,” she stated.

Other panellists featured at the event included Dr Folabi Ogunlesi, Managing Partner Vesta Healthcare; Dr Idorenyin Oladiran, Medical Consultant, Human Resources, MTN Nigeria; Dr Leke Oshunniyi, CEO, Health and Managed Care Association of Nigeria (HMCAN) and Professor Akin Abayomi, Commissioner of Health, Lagos State.

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Pharmaceutical Company Introduces Affordable Blood Tonic for Nigerians



Fejeron Blood Tonic

By Aduragbemi Omiyale

The harsh economy in Nigeria caused by high prices of items amid low purchasing power has made it difficult for Nigerians to afford the basic needs of life, especially drugs to replenish their body system.

As a result, the rate of suicide triggered by depression and others has increased. Also, the number of people falling sick in the country has skyrocketed.

But things may soon change for the better as a pharmaceutical firm, Sterling Biopharma Limited, has introduced a new product called Fejeron Blood Tonic into the Nigerian market to support the country’s about 66.8 per cent economically active population.

Fejeron Blood Tonic contains iron, Vitamin B12 and folic acid, all essential components that help to facilitate adequate blood supply and replenishment to the body with vital vitamins while enabling a strong immune system.

“Fejeron Blood Tonic is the latest proof of our commitment to this mission. Despite its premium quality, Fejeron, at the moment, is one of the most affordable blood tonics you will find in the Nigerian pharma market, and this is deliberate. All Nigerians should be able to take care of themselves,” the chief operating officer of Sterling Biopharma, Mr Adebayo Adepoju, said at the unveiling of the product in Lagos on Thursday, September 15.

He said the drug was formulated due to the nature of stress and fatigue that Nigerians encounter daily, which requires that their physical and mental well-being is well supported to function at its best.

“At Sterling Biopharma, we believe that everyone deserves to be able to buy simple prescription drugs without breaking the bank. This is why from the moment we entered the Nigerian market. With our wide range of products, we have made our intentions clear, and that is to make quality pharmaceutical products affordable for all Nigerians,” he stated.

Since its market introduction, Fejeron has quickly become one of the well-sought-after new brands in the pharmaceutical category. The Product Manager, Olumide Ogunremi, linked the warm embrace of the product to its quality and appeal to the needs of Nigerians.

“The quick acceptance of Fejeron Blood Tonic in Nigeria is not surprising. The enthusiasm to try out the product and the return purchases across the biggest pharmaceutical markets in Nigeria validate the quality of the product and timeliness of its emergence.”

On what makes Fejeron Blood Tonic unique, Mr Ogunremi promised that both the young and old would love the taste of Fejeron, adding that extra effort has also been put into ensuring that the product has fewer chances of causing common side effects like metallic after-taste, staining of the teeth; constipation, diarrhoea, nausea and others.

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Agusto Foresees More Foreign Investments in Nigeria’s Healthcare System



Nigeria's healthcare system

By Adedapo Adesanya

Global research firm, Agusto & Co, has forecast that an increased foreign interest will drive growth in Nigeria’s healthcare system, especially through the acquisition and establishment of health facilities in the medium term.

Agusto said in a report that these foreign investments would help the country bridge the healthcare infrastructure deficit estimated at $82 million.

According to data, Nigeria is largely underfunded in terms of its health system and, as a result, is faced with a significant infrastructure gap.

The industry is currently challenged by outbound medical tourism, deteriorating medical infrastructure, low government budget allocation, and poor compensation for public healthcare workers, all of which have prompted many skilled medical practitioners to relocate overseas in search of better employment opportunities.

In addition, brain drain is also contributing to this as approximately 2,000 doctors leave the country each year, and at least 266 Nigerian doctors were licensed in the United Kingdom between June and July 2022, according to the National Medical Association (NMA).

Nigeria has also not been playing its part, with the health sector receiving only about 4 per cent (N546.98 billion) and 5 per cent (N724.6 billion) of the total budgetary allocation in Nigeria’s 2021 and 2022 budgets. This undershoots the 15 per cent expected by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and African  Union (AU).

Agusto noted that the emergence of COVID-19 in 2020 saw an increase in diagnostic facilities and, albeit insufficiently, an increase in public investments in the health sector with efforts from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Despite this, there remains more to be done, especially with the country’s large population facing a high burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, resulting in many people constantly seeking treatment.

Foreign investors have found the Nigerian healthcare system to be an attractive investment opportunity, and in 2021, the healthcare industry attracted around $2.3 million in foreign direct investments (FDI).

For instance, in February 2021, Evercare Group, through its emerging market health fund, established Evercare Hospital Lekki, a 165-bed multispecialty tertiary care facility.

Agusto predicts that the industry’s contribution to gross domestic product (GDP) will reach N480.6 billion by 2022 from N470.5 billion, based on the country’s high birth rate and the spread of communicable diseases as well as other common ailments such as malaria and respiratory tract infection.

It also expects that a lower rate of outbound medical tourism, as a result of the naira’s continued depreciation, will boost the industry’s contribution to GDP in the medium term.

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