5m poor, vulnerable Nigerians to get free treatment for chronic diseases

No fewer than five million poor and vulnerable Nigerian are to benefit from Novartis Access medicines, ready to be distributed by the Society for Family Health (SFH) for the treatment of chronic diseases across health facility in the country.

This is part of the outcome of partnership between Novartis Social Business and SFH, to implement Novartis Access in Nigeria.

The collaboration also includes capacity-building activities and community awareness about noncommunicable diseases.

No n – c o m m u n i c a b l e diseases are estimated to account for 24 percent of deaths in Nigeria; Cardiovascular diseases accounts seven percent of deaths; cancer accounts for three percent of deaths; diabetes accounts for two percent of deaths; chronic respiratory diseases account for one percent of deaths; and other noncommunicable diseases account for eleven percent of deaths.

Speaking with journalists in Abuja, the Managing Director of Society for Family Health, Sir Bright Ekweremadu, said “Nigeria is increasingly affected by the burden of noncommunicable diseases as lifestyles and habits become more sedentary.

“We have been working for more than 30 years to help Nigerians, particularly the poor and most vulnerable, to leave healthier lives including by improving access to essential health services.

“This collaboration with Novartis Social Business is part of the solution to the challenges of the poor who are most at risk of noncommunicable diseases,” he said.

Ekweremadu said the Novartis Access portfolio includes high-quality medicines targeting four key chronic noncommunicable diseases such as: cardiovascular diseases, type 2 diabetes, respiratory illnesses, and breast cancer.

“This portfolio covers the world’s most frequently prescribed medicines for chronic diseases,” he added.

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