Hygeia, Nigeria’s premier Health Management Organisation (HMO), will on Thursday, 11th July, hold its 2019 health and exhibition conference.
The conference would focus on helping to sensitize the public on the rising incidence of suicide, caused by depression and create awareness on the need for accessible and affordable quality healthcare services through the use of health insurance plan.
“Part of what we are seeking to do this year is to help in reducing the incessant cases of suicide in the country,” Obinnia Abajue, chief executive officer for the firm said, adding that, “We are also looking to see how we can make health insurance work.”
In recent times, there has been a surge in the number of suicide cases in the country as many Nigerians are finding it difficult to survive in a country that holds the title of the poverty capital of the world.
Some 90 million people currently live below the poverty line ($1.9 per day), according to data from the world poverty clock, and this has further widened the inequality gap between the ‘haves and have–nots.‘
About 42 suicide cases have been reported within the first six months of the year. In 2018, the World Health Organisation said Nigeria is 30th most suicide-prone (out of 183 nations) in the world. The country was also ranked 10th African country with higher rates of suicide, leading countries like Togo (ranked 26th), Sierra Leone (11th), Angola (19th), Equatorial Guinea (7th), Burkina Faso (22nd) and Cote d’Ivoire (5th).
According to WHO, some of the leading causes of suicide ranges from financial difficulty, marital problems, academic challenges, among others.
In a bid to reduce the incidence, the federal government placed a ban on the manufacturing of sniper—an agro-chemical—since most of the suicide cases have been linked to its intake.
However, economic experts are of the view that the move would cripple business activities for manufacturers of the product which might further exacerbate the unemployment rate and in turn increase the number of suicide in the country.
Abajue noted that conversations about depression and suicide are developing daily hence the organisation has taken steps to put up discussions around solutions aimed at tackling the issues.
According to him, the firm put forth the conference to get stakeholders in the heath value chain to brainstorm on possible solutions to the challenges of healthcare in Nigeria.
“The most sustainable way to ensure people have access to healthcare is through HMOs and at the conference, we will be looking at how the health management organisations will work for everybody,” he said.
This year’s conference is themed: “Healthcare in Nigeria: Transformative solutions”, and is scheduled to hold on Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Oriental Hotel, Lekki – Epe Expressway, Victoria Island, Lagos by 9am.