By Adedapo Adesanya
Medic West Africa Exhibition and Conference, organised by leading global exhibitions company, Informa Markets, recently concluded its 9th edition amidst elation by exhibitors and visitors,
The three-day event, held at Landmark Center between September 7 and 9, hosted over 150 exhibiting companies from 32 countries showcasing the latest healthcare equipment and solutions innovations.
The event, acclaimed to be the largest gathering of healthcare trade professionals in the region, provided not only an exceptional networking hub for manufacturers, distributors, procurement professionals, dealers, medical professionals, and regulators; but also a platform to drive the discourse on key challenges affecting our regional healthcare systems to unearth sustainable solutions.
It was well-attended by key stakeholders including the Deputy Governor of Ogun State, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele; the Commissioner for Health in Lagos State, Prof. Akin Abayomi; and the Commissioner for Health, Ogun State, Mrs Tomi Coker; amongst other players in the healthcare industry.
Speaking on the need for Medic West Africa as a platform to bridge the technology and knowledge in Nigeria and West Africa, Mrs Salako-Oyedele stated that, “I think it is very important that these technologies needed to upgrade our health industry and provide international-standard healthcare are brought to our doorstep.
“I welcome Medic West Africa as a platform for key stakeholders to explore what is needed for our facilities and learn more about the newest innovations in healthcare. Having had conversations with exhibitors present and receiving assurance from the manufacturers of their understanding of local context and needs, I am quite happy with what I have witnessed here at Medic West Africa.”
On his part, Medic West Africa’s Exhibition Manager, Mr Amogh Wadwalkar, expressed his satisfaction with its growth, continuity of legacy, and impact.
“Ten years ago, Medic West Africa began as a platform to showcase the latest innovations in healthcare technology to industry players for the advancement of regional health infrastructures.
“Now, it has grown to not only be a peerless exhibition platform but also a place of discourse concerning topical issues challenging the healthcare industry.
“This year marks our 9th edition and continues our mission as the premier healthcare trade event and the largest gathering of healthcare trade professionals in the region.
“We have welcomed thousands of visitors during the past three days to not only explore the newest healthcare technologies but also to build relationships for the sustainable growth of the sector.
“By inviting and connecting all parties in the health ecosystem, we have facilitated a platform to unearth solutions for the greatest challenges affecting the industry and our communities,” he said.
Among the technologies exhibited at the conference were state-of-the-art imaging & diagnostics, laboratory equipment, IT systems & solutions, healthcare infrastructure & assets, disposables & consumer goods, pharmaceuticals & supplements, and medical equipment & instruments, among many others.
The revolutionary High-V MRI platform by Siemens Healthineers, Magnetom Free.Star, was one of the highlights of the event, astounding visitors as they explored its disruptive and innovative features, including its DryCool technology. As a virtually helium-free scanner with an ultra-compact footprint and a weight of 3 tons, it harnesses the power of the very latest digitalization technologies to truly improve lives.
Adding her input, Solenne Singer, Informa Market’s Group Director for Healthcare, also conveyed the primary goal for Medic West Africa and its unique offerings for this edition, “Our role at Informa Markets is to bring together manufacturers to meet with local buyers to aid in the sourcing of health equipment and solutions for their facilities and the people of Nigeria. We have expended a lot of effort so that the needs of exhibitors and visitors are fulfilled here at the event.
“This year, we unveiled a laboratory segment, Medlab, as the highlight of the show. A distinguished exhibition showcasing innovative products across the medical laboratory industry, it sets the foundation for the introduction of quality diagnostics and care to Nigeria. For future editions, it will be a growing segment with the addition of a representative conference alongside the exhibition.”
As an annual gathering which hosts hundreds of leading healthcare companies and thousands of healthcare medical professionals, Medic West Africa retained its position as the best gateway to access the West African healthcare market. This year, it continued to provide unmatched networking opportunities and connected various agents on the Business-to-Business (B2B) spectrum.
Through its exhibitions & conferences, Medic West Africa attracted regional healthcare professionals, policymakers, and service providers who value the power of knowledge-sharing, networking, and business for the end goal of transforming West African health infrastructures.
Agusto Foresees More Foreign Investments in 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.
Delta-9 THC: A Guide to its Effects
Delta-9 THC has been the most studied cannabinoid. THC has been proven to have pain-relieving and anti-nausea properties. However, research on its neuroprotective and depression-fighting qualities is still ongoing.
Many generations of cannabis users have embraced the plant’s mood-enhancing properties, Delta-9 THC. Intoxication with cannabis is unlike any other substance, as it absorbs the mind and body into feelings of joy, relaxation and delight. These euphoric feelings can have a lasting impact on our system. A 2016 study about aggression and cannabis consumption revealed that cannabis decreased aggressive feelings, while alcohol increased them.
The well-documented anti-nausea properties of Delta-9 THC are well documented. This was one the first medical benefits that were identified in cannabis. It was established in the 1970s, and 80s. Since 1984, high-thc cannabis strains were prescribed to patients with cancer. It was originally used to treat radiotherapy-induced nausea. Patients today still benefit from THC. The only FDA-approved THC medication is those that treat nausea in patients with cancer.
The munchies, or an increased hunger feeling after cannabis consumption, is one of the most common side effects. This can be beneficial for people with low appetite. In 2018, a study found that THC increases appetite hormones, including ghrelin (and leptin), and does not affect insulin levels. This is a positive sign for obesity and eating disorders.
Although it may seem counterproductive to swap a beer for a preroll, THC can help decrease alcoholism and other drug addictions. Legalizing THC does not only reduce alcohol sales but THC intake increases an individual’s chances of success in treatment for opioid addiction. A 2017 study of animals showed that cannabis administration reduced heroin consumption.
Delta-9 THC, like other cannabinoids works with the endocannabinoid systems to promote homeostasis. This cannabinoid acts in neuronal cultures of the brain, as an antioxidant. It also encourages neurogenesis (creating more neurons). Delta-9 THC is able to reduce muscle spasms for patients with multiple sclerosis, and slow down the nervous system degradation for patients with Parkinson’s. This is a significant development for patients with neurodegenerative conditions such as Parkinson’s disease.
A 2020 study showed that almost all 1,819 patients experienced temporary relief from depressive symptoms following cannabis consumption. The authors point out that other studies have shown that cannabis consumption can cause depression. However, this is dependent on the individual and may vary from person to person. If it works for your situation, you can use mother nature’s resources.
Delta-9 THC – How Do You Get it?
THC, like all cannabinoids comes from cannabigerolic (CBGa), which is the “mother” cannabinoids. From CBGa, the compound undergoes an enzymatic reaction called cannabidiolic acid synthase (CBDAS) to become THCa or tetrahydrocannabinolic acid. The heat process of decarboxylation causes THCa to break down to form Delta-9 THC.
Can Delta-9 get you high?
Yes, Delta-9, the most prominent cannabinoid responsible intoxicating and psychoactive effects of cannabis, will make you feel “high”.
What Does Delta-9 Do in the body?
Delta-9 THC is absorbed into your lungs through the gastrointestinal tract. It then enters the bloodstream via your bloodstream. Depending on how the drink was taken, it may interact with your Endocannabinoid System to create intoxicating “high”.
The Endocannabinoid System
The receptors of the endocannabinoid systems are located throughout the body. They help maintain homeostasis by improving biological functions. The ECS is essential for our health.
CB1 receptors are the primary receptors of the ECS. CB2 is the secondary. The brain, nervous system, liver and spinal cord are the main locations of CB1 receptors. CB1 can bind with both the natural cannabinoids and Delta-9 THC.
The delta 9 products that carried at Pure CBD Now come from the same top-rated, reputable brands that you’ve become familiar with over the years.
Heritage Bank Gives Succour to Sickle Cell Persons in Nigeria
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
A financial institution in Nigeria, Heritage Bank Plc, has partnered with a non-profit organisation, Gail Sickle Initiative, to ameliorate the burden of sickle cell persons in the country.
This is part of the lender’s corporate social initiatives aimed at providing support to people in need, especially sickle cell patients.
An Executive Director at Heritage Bank, Ms Osepiribo Ben-Willie, disclosed that it has become of concern to the bank to help alleviate the burden of over 40 million Nigerians, who are healthy carriers of the sickle cell gene and the 150,000 children born with the disorder.
According to her, this is by far the largest burden of sickle cell disorder around the world, especially in Nigeria, and most of these children die in childhood from lack of access to early diagnosis and proper care.
“At Heritage Bank, health is a priority; that is why we want to continue partnering and supporting the NGO, Gail Sickle Initiative on welfare support, early detection and improved treatment and proper care,” she said.
Ms Ben-Willie further affirmed that Heritage Bank, in partnership with Gail Sickle Initiative, is synergizing to create significant awareness and support for individuals affected by the disease.
On her part, the convener of Gail Sickle Initiative, Ms Oluwafemi Ajayi, disclosed that with the support from Heritage Bank, the NGO has gone beyond its support to her members, whom she refers to as winning warriors, to supporting and donating to people living with the sickle cell disease across the country.
According to her, as an organisation that supplies supplements to winning warriors, the Gail Sickle Initiative partnered with Heritage Bank and with the funds provided went beyond the organisation’s members and reached out to other winning warriors who have no parental support and to those in various hospital to give them supplements and offset the bill of some who were unable to pay their bills.
Ms Ajayi further stated that Sickle Cell disorder poses various challenges to the carriers like health challenges, stigmatisation, and economic challenge, amongst others.
She said the Gail Sickle Initiative focused on how to cover every aspect of these challenges by birthing the Sicklepreneur, this aids the warriors to be trained so they can acquire relevant skills and equip themselves to be independent. Therefore, apart from trying to eradicate sickle cell disease, they ensure that the stigmatisation label on the warriors does not result in depression for them.
She encouraged other corporate organisations to learn from Heritage Bank’s sterling example to the winning warriors by supporting the initiative and further contributed to the back-to-school project with relevant items donated.
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