BusinessDay

World Health Day: Stakeholders urge Nigeria to improve on medical emergency response

…As ERA launches Signal mobile app

As the world commemorates the 2022 World Health Day, stakeholders in the healthcare value-chain have urged Nigeria to pay more attention to medical emergency response as a critical death preventable tool.

The stakeholders who spoke at the ‘Transforming Emergency Medical Services in Africa Using Technology’ conference said the country must leverage technology to improve its medical emergency response.

Adedamola Dada, chief medical director, Federal Medical Center, Ebute-Meta, Lagos posits that there is a need for Nigerians to leverage technology provided through social media to create more awareness about medical emergency response.

To ensure that Nigerians receive fast, safe, and reliable medical care in minutes while ensuring that technology is deployed, Emergency Response Africa (ERA) launched a mobile app to facilitate medical emergency response.

Folake Owodunni, CEO/co-founder of Emergency Response Africa (ERA), said the company is committed to changing the way medical emergencies are handled across the continent but beginning in Nigeria.

“We have built and are still building the largest networks of first responders, emergency response vehicles, and verified emergency ready hospitals across Nigeria who are connected to emergency victims using our technology application,” said Owodunni at the ERA World Health Day event held on Thursday in Lagos.

Read also: World Health Day: Air pollution puts millions of Nigerians at risk

She posits that unnecessary delay and lack of simple intervention that could have safe lives always resulting in death influenced the day-to-day activities of ERA.

“Beyond intervention that can immediately have an impact on all of our lives, and that is the effective emergency response which is what inspired us to start Emergency Response Africa,” said Owodunni, stating that technology is at the centre of ERA.”

According to her, ERA has been able to address 800 incidents in the last year and saved at least 80 lives from life-threatening conditions.

Speaking further on the operation, Owodunni disclosed that ERA has been able to build a network of over 130 partners in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

Yearly, over 6 million Africans lose their lives in situations that could have been addressed by effective emergency response.

In Nigeria, it is estimated that 1.2 million lose their lives yearly to preventable deaths from heart disease, stroke, accidents and injuries, pregnancy-related conditions, and much more.

Panelists at the medical panel posit that ERA is on the right path in creating a medical emergency response in Africa on the back of its community first responders.

Similarly, panelists at the industry panel session posit that management should drive emergency preparedness initiatives in every organisation.

Accordingly, it was agreed that businesses should take steps to protect their assets by planning for emergencies.

Abimbola Onakomaiya, MD, Peaktrust Insurance Broker and member ERA advisory board, while speaking during the industry panel on the ‘business case for emergency response planning’ said humans are the most important asset of any business.

According to her, businesses with over five employees and value sustainability should have all of their assets insured.

Hence, she urged business leaders to be proactive in response to emergency planning.

Lanre Mojola, DG/CEO, Lagos State Safety Commission, who was represented by Seun Awojobi, posits that leadership commitment is essential to business sustainability on the back of effective and efficient emergency planning; hence every business leader should be committed to the safety of life and the business.

Kate Ibeanusi, head of operations, ERA (moderator) management should take the lead in emergency preparedness built into the day-to-day activities. Earlier in her welcome address, Ibeanusi, who moderated the industry panel, disclosed that one of the highlights of the day was the launch of Signal mobile app by ERA.

According to her, Signal by ERA is an application that allows emergency victims to request help at any time an emergency happens. She said that a user can report an incident, as well as track all emergency cases they have requested until help arrives.

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