Start up provides direct health care in rural regions
Airmed, a healthtech firm based in Lagos, is on a mission to narrow the gap in Nigeria's healthcare industry by altering the narrative.
The sensitive healthcare system in the nation has been plagued by a number of issues for years, including but not limited to: egregious mismanagement, a shortage of competent professionals, inadequate infrastructure, and colossal poverty, especially among the vast majority who survive on less than $1 per day.
Tobechukwu Obikili, the company's founder and CEO, believes that if Nigeria is to be repositioned on a path toward meaningful growth that goes beyond campaign promises made in good faith, local and national players must pay quick attention to the depressingly retrogressive situation of the sector.
In an interview with Ripples Nigeria, Tobechukwu stated, "In an effort to address concerns connected to medical collapse in the country, we are investing in its restoration by placing focus on providing quality healthcare services."
We appear to be clueless that we are in a crisis. For instance, the few doctors and nurses we have been able to generate are being sold off to foreign nations in groups. We must not easily forget that COVID-19 showed our shortcomings in terms of skilled medical professionals.
"Perhaps the media needs to do a lot of work to highlight our reality, particularly the lack we face in the healthcare sector."
Airmed to Elfimo:
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, Tobechukwu resigned his position as general manager at Elfimo, a pharmaceutical company founded in 1987, to cofound Airmed with Teslim Bello, a chartered accountant by training who is currently in charge of Airmed's business development team.
"The lockdown incident was a turning point in world history. We had the entire world on solid ground for the first time, including industrialized nations without exception. People's freedom of movement was limited, and it became challenging for them to access locations and a variety of services, including medical and pharmaceutical services, according to the CEO.
"We saw the challenges faced by individuals as a result of the new issue, particularly in the area of accessing pharmacies to buy medications prescribed by physicians.
"We considered solutions to the problem, and Airmed was developed as a result of a project to use technology to link pharmacies and make them reachable online so that customers could place orders from the comfort of their homes.
The first version of Airmed's solution was developed for instant messaging services WhatsApp and Telegram, allowing users to communicate with suppliers in real-time, place orders, and get answers to their questions.
Two years after it began as a simple notion to link people with pharmacies, Airmed has developed into a completely tech-driven healthcare network offering a variety of service options for individuals, organizations, and SMEs.
"Our expansion has been natural. I recall how things began. Orders were being taken via WhatsApp. Sorting out the pills and medications that will be given will take the entire day. Teslim Bello-Osagie, cofounder and chief business development officer of the startup, narrated the tale of Airmed's humble beginnings by saying, "In certain ways, we had restrictions.
Nigerian death toll
In Nigeria, millions of people die of avoidable causes each year. The primary causes are cardiovascular disease, chronic respiratory illness, unintentional injuries, diabetes, various infectious diseases, poor food, incorrect diagnosis, and sedentary lifestyle in some situations.
The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 55 million people died worldwide in 2011, with non-communicable diseases such cancer, diabetes, chronic cardiovascular diseases, and lung diseases accounting for two thirds of these deaths.
Nigerians may say goodbye to avoidable fatalities thanks to Airmed's assistance because the team works to provide people with appropriate medical services and solutions that are quick to identify ailments by utilizing its network of partners and worldwide specialists.
People can schedule appointments with top medical professionals through the Airmed website, particularly overseas specialists who have offered to consult for the new company as it spearheads the effort to reduce avoidable deaths in Nigeria, the country with the largest economy in Africa.
"In response to the ongoing medical brain drain, we have developed a procedure to make sure that these specialists can still benefit Nigerians despite being far from home. Tobechukwu stated, "We have set up a platform for medical professionals in the diaspora to work on our consultancy desk.
We think that if medical care can be subsidized for our people, life expectancy will rise and the economy will benefit immensely.
Nigerians, according to Tobechukwu, are "victims of the system." He claims that Airmed is dedicated to making sure that everyone — including medical professionals and patients — does what is required of them to ensure that the world is kept in good health.
"Adults and children are required to visit their doctor for routine check-ups, even if they feel well, which is why we established Airmed.
"In this way, our team follows up with our users to make sure they perform disease screening, identify risk factors for disease, talk about tips for a healthy and balanced lifestyle, stay up to date with immunizations and boosters, and maintain a good relationship with a healthcare provider," the website's authors write.
An emotional catalyst
Tobechukwu lost a 4-month-old baby a few years ago as a result of a Lagos doctor's incorrect diagnosis. His sick infant had previously been receiving care for a separate condition. It was almost too late for the infant to survive at the last minute. In the hands of the hapless medical staff, he gave up.
Along with his original idea for a medication marketplace, this additional traumatic experience haunted the CEO. As a result, he was motivated to incorporate into the overall design of Airmed a section where only licensed medical experts could be consulted in order to prevent a repeat of his fate at the hands of the unqualified medic.
Within the shortest period of time since Airmed's founding in 2020, the company has achieved important achievements. Teslim has seen growth in the medicine marketplace at Airmed, which has generated excellent sales for a young company.
"We never expected to develop this quickly. Our customer and clientele base is currently expanding virtually daily. We have provided medical supplies, such as supplements, painkillers, multivitamins, and children's drugs, among other things, to individuals and numerous organizations through our relationship with Elfimo, adds Teslim.
In order to ensure that our customers and clients receive their goods as quickly as possible, we have also joined with GIG Logistics as our delivery service. This allows us to take advantage of the vast network of GIGL riders.
The medical industry is a highly delicate environment, thus this is crucial. It can be expensive if drugs ordered are delivered even slightly late. Because we are reliable and competent, our clients appreciate us.
"Whenever we take a step back, we are pleased to see how our team is using money from our many investors wisely and how we are meeting people's medical requirements."
In five years, airmed
Tobechukwu asserts that Airmed has its sights set primarily on the continent of Africa as it works to reestablish trust in Nigerian medical practice.
"Airmed should have influenced 500 million people in Africa in 5 years as a brand. Africa is being elevated by the wider picture. Our goal is to create a business that will provide high-quality, reasonably priced healthcare across the continent“, the submitter stated.
Access to comprehensive, quality health care services is important for promoting and maintaining health, preventing and managing disease, reducing unnecessary disability and premature death, and achieving health equity for the whole civil society. If our neighbors do not have what they need to prevent and treat disease, it puts everyone at greater risk. The opposite is also true: when everyone can access health care, we are all better able to combat disease.
More information: https://airmed.com