I thought it was simply a beautiful dream. Two months ago, i.e. sometime in August, I had applied to be a visitor and conference participant at the Medic West Africa Exhibition 2017. It had taken me less than 10 minutes to enter in all the necessary details. A follow up email was sent to me detailing my unique registration number to the conference and the importance of presenting this number at the registration desk on the exhibition day. The 3-day exhibition and conference started on 11th through to 13th October 2017.
Long before this registration, while in med school, I had always wanted to be part of this event, popular for being the largest gathering of healthcare professionals and business owners. So in mind, I was subconsciously counting down to October 11, 2017 the first day of the event.
It turned out better than I had imagined. The whole exhibition was literally, super lit.
The exhibition area spanned three mega halls. As i made my way through the main gate, I was quickly ushered in through the main see-through glass doors, unto the registration point, where my credentials were prompted confirmed and a visitor tag issued.
From then on, I noted i must go through each individual stand to see what latest stuff was offered. I picked a copy of the event’s brochure as I made my way from Hall 1 through Hall 2 to Hall 3. It was filled with new and promising health technologies and gadgets, that remains so unfamiliar to many of the participants I had interviewed.
The event was organized by Informa Life Sciences Exhibition and it had so many exhibitors in attendance. The venue of the event space was packed full with nationals from other countries, including Germany, India, China, USA, Nigeria etc. The first day was a bee-hive of activities.
On the first day conferences were running concurrently, but I had to stick to the Social Media and Healthcare Conference. Indeed it was a eye opener to mere for many reasons. On the very elaborate panel and speaker list are
- Mr Adepoju Paul (CEO HealthNewsNG.com)
- Mrs Anike Lawal, Founder Mamalette.com
- Mr Lanre Adeloye, CEO & Co-Founder Babymigo
- Dr. Onyedikachi Ekwerike, Founder, Post-partum Support Network Africa.
- Miss Rebecca Ojedele, Project Coordinator, African Radio Drama Association.
Sincerely I had always thought I knew all there was to know in social media, being a social media doctor. The panelist/speakers fit the perfect description of millennials entrepreneurs providing unique health/healthcare solutions.
Summarily, the speakers and panelist revealed that
- There is a fast growing health-tech space, especially in the Nigeria Health-tech space, who are harnessing technology to educate, mobilize and inspire.
- Daily we should strive to bridge the gap between Innovative solutions and professionals. It seemed to be a unanimous agreement that the health care space is lagging behind in technology drive, and medical professionals are key contributors to the slow pace of progress.
DAY 2 & 3:
Painfully, i missed out on Day 2 sessions and activities, as i had been resolute to be in attendance for the three days. However, Day 3 was indeed grand and dicey, with respect to the kind and caliber of speakers at the conferences.
As soon as i stepped into the waiting area on the last day of the exhibition, a young attendant walked up to me and beckoned which conference I wanted to attend. She quickly laid out my options and I choose the ‘Leaders in Healthcare Conference’ over ‘Navigating Diabetes Care’. I was not disappointed to have settled for my choice.
By the time I got to the conference room, packed with listeners, Dr Jide Idris was rounding off his speech. Dr Jide is Lagos State Commissioner of Health. Other speakers soon followed, including The First Lady of Cross Rivers State, Mrs Linda Ayade, the Deputy Ministers of Health from Ghana and Namibia, Hon. Kingsley Aboagye-Gyedu and Ms Juliet Kavetuna; Nigeria’s Minister of Health represented by the Permanent Secretary Mr Clement Uwaifo.
The panelist were:
- Dr Kabiru Getso – Kano State Health Commissioner
- Dr Kakale – Sokoto State Health Commissioner
- Dr Inyang Asibong – Cross River State Health Commissioner
- Mrs Clare Omatseye – President, Healthcare Federation of Nigeria
- Mr Johan Vooren, Health System Leader Africa, Philips
- Prof Kama-yugo – WHO
- H.E Toyin Saraki, Founder, Wellbeing Foundation Africa
From the speakers:
- It is good to exhibit all these equipment, but questions like; Are they appropriate for us? Are they user or patient-friendly? Are they affordable to government? – Mrs Linda Ayade, First Lady Cross Rivers
- Namibia is 27 years old with a population of about 2.3million people – Namibia Deputy Health Minister, Ms Juliet Kavetuna
- …With about 10,000 Primary Health Care in Nigeria, 1 per political ward is to be revitalized by the end of this administration,……We encourage telemedicine as it will improve professionalism and extend services to rural areas – Mr Clement Uwaifo, Perm Secretary Ministry of Health, Representing Nigeria’s Health Minister
From the Panelists:
- I propose three way re-inventing the healthcare service delivery in Nigeria: Develop Human Resources, Procure Equipment, Appropriate Health Financing – Prof Kama-yugo
- Healthcare is a major business, with a demand and supply side… Disruptive Model is about to happen – Clare Omatseye, President Healthcare Federation of Nigeria
- Philips is committed to touching 3 billion lives a year by 2025, by providing low resource, low skill, low cost technologies to reach more rural communities – Health System Leader Africa, Philips
- …Demand side financing for healthcare has an element of social accountability… In Sokoto State we are also doing Pubilc-Public Partnerships between state and federal government
Indeed, it was a rich one for me this year. I am so sure I have become better in these 3 days. I networked, got new business contacts, and made new medical friends. Next year event has been billed to start from October 10 – 12, 2018. It would be so good to meet you all at the event
I think it is also proper I put in a word of appreciation to the organizers, for believing in and inviting DoctorsQuarters.com to be a Media Partner for Medic West Africa 2017. We hope to do this again next year 2018.
PHOTO CREDIT: Medic West Africa 2017 & DoctorsQuarters.com