We are currently living in the “social media” age where distances are being bridged by information technology and the world has indeed become a “global village”. Even in the remotest of locations on the face of the earth, technology makes communication possible and now allows real-time conversations to occur over unimaginable distances.
In a country like ours with a dearth of adequate healthcare facilities and a perennial man-power shortage, many folks have lost their lives due to “delays” (especially Type 2 and Type 3) in accessing skilled and qualified medical care. Despite huge investments, the government has demonstrated that it is ‘seemingly’ incapable of delivering on all the expectations of the populace especially as regards the health sector.
There remains a large gulf between the man on the streets and the skilled/qualified medical personnel practicing in properly equipped health facilities. The “ignorance burden” of the vast majority of the populace puts them at risk of being manipulated by quacks, suspicious characters and misfits in the health sector. Our poorly regulated system allows leeway for charlatans to swindle the “ignorant” man out of his hard-earned money through baseless claims of “wonder” treatments that often invariably lead to irreparable harm to their already fragile health status.
Our public health facilities are daily thronged by large masses of people who have to be speedily attended to, hence resulting in reduced consultation time per person, impersonal consultations, short-tempered staffs, etc and the bureaucratic bottlenecks only make things worse. It’s not surprising to see patients who have been receiving care for months and years but yet know little or nothing about the nature neither of their illness (diagnosis) nor of the expected effects of their medications or their side effects.
We don’t have a functional Emergency Medical Service (EMS) system in the country and thus folks having simple home emergencies are “on their own” until they can get to a health care facility.
It’s often indeed very pitiful to see patients presenting late to health facilities with advanced complications of “simple” ailments that could have been promptly and easily treated if they had presented much earlier. The only excuse they usually have is “I had no one to tell me what to do”. This often makes one wonder if things would have been different if they had access to proper medical advice.
In view of the above problems and many more, some young medical professionals from various specialties came together to see how best they could address some of these problems and voluntarily use their skills/knowledge for the benefit of the populace. Hence the birth of the “Naija247Medic™” concept.
“Naija247Medic™” is a new (social)-media based free medical advisory and health education service that is run voluntarily and on a “not-for-profit” basis by a group of qualified young, dynamic and dedicated team of medical professionals drawn from various specialties of the health sector, committed towards using new-media tools to provide medical counsel/advice to Nigerian folks…absolutely free.
Currently operating using social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, BlackBerry Messenger, e-mail, etc., and with a rapidly growing followership and increasing popularity among social media users, there are plans to also expand and use other new-media tools.
The service does not aim to replace conventional healthcare services but rather seeks to complement it and bridge currently existing gaps by providing a prompt, readily accessible, round-the-clock access to a dedicated and committed multi-disciplinary team who are always ready to listen and provide counsel and advice on all inquiries and then refer to appropriate specialties best suited to handle the health issue if necessary.
All this is done absolutely free! The convenience and ease of access has endeared it to many users.
By also providing health education services, we aim to adequately enlighten the public on issues of public health concern and providing a forum for dispelling falsehoods, myths or misconceptions that may arise.
Connect with Naija247Medic on any of these platforms: Twitter: @naija_medic247 | E-mail: [email protected] | Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/Naija247Medic | BBM Pin = 25F28700 | BBM channel: Naija247Medic | BBM Channel pin: C002F02F8